A comparison of the lung clearance kinetics of solid lipid nanoparticles and liposomes by following the 3H-labelled structural lipids after pulmonary delivery in rats

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The utility of biodegradable nanosized drug carriers for the local and controlled delivery of therapeutics to the lungs has prompted significant interest in the development of inhalable nanomedicines. Still, little is known about how these systems are cleared from the lungs, including the kinetics of the structural lipids. Most preclinical and clinical studies to date have evaluated the lung clearance of loaded drugs, which in many cases poorly reflects the kinetics of the nanocarrier, or the bulk-labelled particles. This study therefore aimed to describe and compare the pulmonary pharmacokinetic behaviour and patterns of lung clearance of two commonly explored inhalable nanocarriers (anionic ∼150 nm liposomes and solid lipid nanoparticles [SLNs]) in rats by following the 3H-labelled structural lipids (phosphatidylcholine and tristearin respectively). The data showed that SLNs and liposomes were cleared from the lungs at similar rates, despite SLNs being deposited after intratracheal instillation in the upper respiratory track, and primarily via the mucociliary escalator, but this process was more pronounced for SLNs. Structural lipids were mainly associated with plasma proteins rather than nanocarrier in plasma. The lipids also exhibit prolonged lung exposure and are associated with the lung tissue (rather than BALF) over 2 weeks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Clearance
  • Drug delivery
  • Inhalation
  • Liposome
  • Pulmonary
  • SLN

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