Back to Journals » Drug Design, Development and Therapy » Volume 7

Design and physicochemical characterization of advanced spray-dried tacrolimus multifunctional particles for inhalation

Authors Wu X, Hayes Jr D, Zwischenberger J, Kuhn R, Mansour H

Received 10 November 2012

Accepted for publication 13 December 2012

Published 4 February 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 59—72


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Xiao Wu,1 Don Hayes Jr,2,3 Joseph B Zwischenberger,4 Robert J Kuhn,5 Heidi M Mansour1,6

1University of Kentucky, College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences-Drug Development Division, Lexington, KY, USA; 2The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Departments of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Programs, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA; 3The Ohio State University College of Medicine, The Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, Columbus, OH, USA; 4University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Departments of Pediatrics, Biomedical Engineering, Diagnostic Radiology, and Surgery, Lexington, KY, USA; 5University of Kentucky, College of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmacy Practice and Science, Lexington, KY, USA; 6University of Kentucky, Center of Membrane Sciences, Lexington, KY, USA

Abstract: The aim of this study was to design, develop, and optimize respirable tacrolimus microparticles and nanoparticles and multifunctional tacrolimus lung surfactant mimic particles for targeted dry powder inhalation delivery as a pulmonary nanomedicine. Particles were rationally designed and produced at different pump rates by advanced spray-drying particle engineering design from organic solution in closed mode. In addition, multifunctional tacrolimus lung surfactant mimic dry powder particles were prepared by co-dissolving tacrolimus and lung surfactant mimic phospholipids in methanol, followed by advanced co-spray-drying particle engineering design technology in closed mode. The lung surfactant mimic phospholipids were 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine and 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-[phosphor-rac-1-glycerol]. Laser diffraction particle sizing indicated that the particle size distributions were suitable for pulmonary delivery, whereas scanning electron microscopy imaging indicated that these particles had both optimal particle morphology and surface morphology. Increasing the pump rate percent of tacrolimus solution resulted in a larger particle size. X-ray powder diffraction patterns and differential scanning calorimetry thermograms indicated that spray drying produced particles with higher amounts of amorphous phase. X-ray powder diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry also confirmed the preservation of the phospholipid bilayer structure in the solid state for all engineered respirable particles. Furthermore, it was observed in hot-stage micrographs that raw tacrolimus displayed a liquid crystal transition following the main phase transition, which is consistent with its interfacial properties. Water vapor uptake and lyotropic phase transitions in the solid state at varying levels of relative humidity were determined by gravimetric vapor sorption technique. Water content in the various powders was very low and well within the levels necessary for dry powder inhalation, as quantified by Karl Fisher coulometric titration. Conclusively, advanced spray-drying particle engineering design from organic solution in closed mode was successfully used to design and optimize solid-state particles in the respirable size range necessary for targeted pulmonary delivery, particularly for the deep lung. These particles were dry, stable, and had optimal properties for dry powder inhalation as a novel pulmonary nanomedicine.

Keywords: dry powder inhaler (DPI), pulmonary nanomedicine, lung transplant, immunosuppression, lung surfactant, phospholipid colloidal self-assemblies, solid-state particle engineering design, organic solution advanced spray drying

Creative Commons License © 2013 The Author(s). This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.