Development and physicochemical characterization of acetalated dextran aerosol particle systems for deep lung delivery
Biocompatible, biodegradable polymers are commonly used as excipients to improve the drug delivery properties of aerosol formulations, in which acetalated dextran (Ac-Dex) exhibits promising potential as a polymer in various therapeutic applications. Despite this promise, there is no comprehensive study on the use of Ac-Dex as an excipient for dry powder aerosol formulations. In this study, we developed and characterized pulmonary drug delivery aerosol microparticle systems based on spray-dried Ac-Dex with capabilities of (1) delivering therapeutics to the deep lung, (2) targeting the particles to a desired location within the lungs, and (3) releasing the therapeutics in a controlled fashion. Two types of Ac-Dex, with either rapid or slow degradation rates, were synthesized. Nanocomposite microparticle (nCmP) and microparticle (MP) systems were successfully formulated using both kinds of Ac-Dex as excipients and curcumin as a model drug. The resulting MP were collapsed spheres approximately 1 μm in diameter, while the nCmP were similar in size with wrinkled surfaces, and these systems dissociated into 200 nm nanoparticles upon reconstitution in water. The drug release rates of the Ac-Dex particles were tuned by modifying the particle size and ratio of fast to slow degrading Ac-Dex. The pH of the environment was also a significant factor that influenced the drug release rate. All nCmP and MP systems exhibited desirable aerodynamic diameters that are suitable for deep lung delivery (e.g. below 5 μm). Overall, the engineered Ac-Dex aerosol particle systems have the potential to provide targeted and effective delivery of therapeutics into the deep lung.