Characterization and application of a nose-only exposure chamber for inhalation delivery of liposomal drugs and nucleic acids to mice

G. Mainelis, S. Seshadri, O. B. Garbuzenko, T. Han, Z. Wang, T. Minko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Background: A small nose-only exposure chamber was evaluated for inhalation delivery of drug carrier systems (DCSs) to mice for the treatment of lung cancer. The chamber then was used for inhalation delivery of an anticancer drug, antisense oligonucleotides (ASO), and small interfering RNA (siRNA) directly to the cancerous lungs of mice. Methods: The uniformity of particle delivery across the ports of the exposure chamber and stability of the DCS (liposomes) during continuous aerosolization by a Collison nebulizer were examined. The mean produced particle size by number was approximately 130 nm, and the mass median diameter was approximately 270 nm. The system was then used to deliver DCS containing doxorubicin (DOX) and ASO or siRNA targeted to multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (MRP1) mRNA as suppressors of cancer cell resistance. The retention of the drug in the lungs and the effect on tumor size were compared after inhalation delivery and intravenous injection in a nu/nu mouse model of lung cancer. Results: The aerosol mass across the four inhalation ports had a coefficient of variation of less than 12%, and approximately 1.4% of the nebulized mass was available for inhalation at each port. The mean size of 130 nm of liposomal DCS did not change significantly during continuous 60-min aerosolization. For inhalation delivery of DCS with DOX+ASO/siRNA, the amount of drugs available for inhalation was lower compared with intravenous injection of DOX; however, the observed lung dose and the retention time were significantly higher. The delivery of DOX+ASO/siRNA via inhalation resulted in tumor volume reduction of more than 90%, whereas only about 40% reduction was achieved after intravenous injection of DOX. Conclusions: The investigated exposure system is suitable for inhalation delivery of complex DCS, and its use to deliver DCS containing anticancer drugs and resistance suppressors via inhalation offered a superior method for lung cancer treatment in mice compared with intravenous injections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-354
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • Drug carrier systems
  • Exposure
  • Inhalation
  • Liposomes
  • Lung cancer
  • Nose-only chamber
  • Pump and nonpump resistance


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