Spray-freeze-dried dry powder inhalation of insulin-loaded liposomes for enhanced pulmonary delivery

J Drug Target. 2008 Nov;16(9):639-48. doi: 10.1080/10611860802201134.


Nowadays, growing attention has been paid to the pulmonary region as a target for the delivery of peptide and protein drugs, especially macromolecules with systemic effect like insulin, since the pulmonary route exhibits numerous benefits to be an alternative for repeated injection. Furthermore, encapsulation of insulin into liposomal carriers is an attractive way to increase drug retention time and control the drug release in the lung; however, its long-term stability during storage in the reservoir and the process of aerosolization might be suspected when practically applied. Thus, the aim of this study was to design and characterize dry powder inhalation of insulin-loaded liposomes prepared by novel spray-freeze-drying method for enhanced pulmonary delivery. Process variables such as compressed air pressure, pump speed, and concentration were optimized for parameters such as mean particle diameter, moisture content, and fine particle fraction of the produced powders. Influence of different kinds and amounts of lyoprotectants was also evaluated for the best preservation of the drug entrapped in the liposome bilayers after the dehydration-rehydration cycle. The in vivo study of intratracheal instillation of insulin-loaded liposomes to diabetic rats showed successful hypoglycemic effect with low blood glucose level and long-lasting period and a relative pharmacological bioavailability as high as 38.38% in the group of 8 IU/kg dosage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Drug Stability
  • Freeze Drying
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Liposomes / administration & dosage
  • Liposomes / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Powders*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Liposomes
  • Powders