Inhalation treatment of lung cancer: the influence of composition, size and shape of nanocarriers on their lung accumulation and retention

Olga B. Garbuzenko, Gediminas Mainelis, Oleh Taratula, Tamara Minko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Scopus citations


Objective: Various nanoparticles have been designed and tested in order to select optimal carriers for the inhalation delivery of anticancer drugs to the lungs. Methods: The following nanocarriers were studied: micelles, liposomes, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs), poly propyleneimine (PPI) dendrimer-siRNA complexes nanoparticles, quantum dots (QDs), and poly (ethylene glycol) polymers. All particles were characterized using the following methods: dynamic light scattering, zeta potential, atomic force microscopy, in vitro cyto- and genotoxicity. In vivo organ distribution of all nanoparticles, retention in the lungs, and anticancer effects of liposomes loaded with doxorubicin were examined in nude mice after the pulmonary or intravenous delivery. Results: Significant differences in lung uptake were found after the inhalation delivery of lipid-based and non-lipid-based nanoparticles. The accumulation of liposomes and micelles in lungs remained relatively high even 24 h after inhalation when compared with MSNs, QDs, and PPI dendrimers. There were notable differences between nanoparticle accumulation in the lungs and other organs 1 and 3 h after inhalation or intravenous administrations, but 24 h after intravenous injection all nanoparticles were mainly accumulated in the liver, kidneys, and spleen. Inhalation delivery of doxorubicin by liposomes significantly enhanced its anticancer effect and prevented severe adverse side effects of the treatment in mice bearing the orthotopic model of lung cancer. Conclusion: The results of the study demonstrate that lipid-based nanocarriers had considerably higher accumulation and longer retention time in the lungs when compared with non-lipid-based carriers after the inhalation delivery. These particles are most suitable for effective inhalation treatment of lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-55
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


  • Drug delivery systems
  • Inhalation administration
  • Intravenous administration
  • Lung neoplasms
  • Nanoparticles

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