The inhaled delivery of nanomedicines can provide a novel, non-invasive therapeutic strategy for the more localised treatment of lung-resident diseases and potentially also enable the systemic delivery of therapeutics that are otherwise administered via injection alone. However, the clinical translation of inhalable nanomedicine is being hampered by our lack of understanding about their disposition and clearance from the lungs. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the biodegradable nanomaterials that are currently being explored as inhalable drug delivery systems and our current understanding of their disposition within, and clearance from the lungs. The safety of biodegradable nanomaterials in the lungs is discussed and latest updates are provided on the impact of inflammation on the pulmonary pharmacokinetics of inhaled nanomaterials. Overall, the review provides an in-depth and critical assessment of the lung clearance mechanisms for inhaled biodegradable nanomedicines and highlights the opportunities and challenges for their translation into the clinic.
- Drug delivery