Delivery and performance of surfactant replacement therapies to treat pulmonary disorders

Ther Deliv. 2013 Aug;4(8):951-80. doi: 10.4155/tde.13.72.


Lung surfactant is crucial for optimal pulmonary function throughout life. An absence or deficiency of surfactant can affect the surfactant pool leading to respiratory distress. Even if the coupling between surfactant dysfunction and the underlying disease is not always well understood, using exogenous surfactants as replacement is usually a standard therapeutic option in respiratory distress. Exogenous surfactants have been extensively studied in animal models and clinical trials. The present article provides an update on the evolution of surfactant therapy, types of surfactant treatment, and development of newer-generation surfactants. The differences in the performance between various surfactants are highlighted and advanced research that has been conducted so far in developing the optimal delivery of surfactant is discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols
  • Animals
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Masks
  • Lung Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / administration & dosage
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / therapeutic use*


  • Aerosols
  • Pulmonary Surfactants