Polyketal microparticles for therapeutic delivery to the lung

Biomaterials. 2010 Feb;31(5):810-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.09.100. Epub 2009 Oct 20.


Inflammation in the setting of interstitial lung disease (ILD) occurs in the distal alveolar spaces of the lung, which presents significant challenges for therapeutic delivery. The development of aerosolizable microparticles from non-immunogenic polymers is needed to enable the clinical translation of numerous experimental therapeutics that require localization to the deep lung and repeated delivery for optimal efficacy. Polyketals (PK), a family of polymers, have several unique properties that make them ideal for lung delivery, specifically their hydrolysis into non-acidic, membrane-permeable compounds and their capacity to form microparticles with the aerodynamic properties needed for aerosolization. In this study, we tested the lung biocompatibility of microparticles created from a polyketal polymer, termed PK3, following intratracheal instillation in comparison to commonly used PLGA microparticles. We furthermore tested the initial efficacy of PK3 microparticles to encapsulate and effectively deliver active superoxide dismutase (SOD), a free radical scavenging enzyme, in a model of lung fibrosis. Our findings indicate that PK3 microparticles display no detectable level of alveolar or airway inflammation, whereas PLGA induced a small inflammatory response. Furthermore, SOD-loaded into PK3 microparticles maintained its activity upon release and, when delivered via PK3 microparticles, inhibited the extent of lung fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aerosols / administration & dosage
  • Aerosols / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microspheres
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / pathology
  • Superoxide Dismutase / administration & dosage*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / chemistry*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Aerosols
  • Drug Carriers
  • Polymers
  • Superoxide Dismutase