The present study aimed to develop inhalable poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)-based microparticles of salmon calcitonin (sCT) for sustained pharmacological action by the fine droplet drying (FDD) process, a novel powderization technique employing printing technologies. PLGA was selected as a biodegradable carrier polymer for sustained-release particles of sCT (sCT/SR), and physicochemical characterizations of sCT/SR were conducted. To estimate the in vivo efficacy of the sCT/SR respirable powder (sCT/SR-RP), plasma calcium levels were measured after intratracheal administration in rats. The particle size of sCT/SR was 3.6 µm, and the SPAN factor, one of the parameters to present the uniformity of particle size distribution, was calculated to be 0.65. In the evaluation of the conformational structure of sCT, no significant changes were observed in sCT/SR even after the FDD process. The drug release from sCT/SR showed a biphasic pattern with an initial burst and slow diffusion in simulated lung fluid. sCT/SR-RP showed fine inhalation performance, as evidenced by a fine particle fraction value of 28% in the cascade impactor analysis. After the insufflation of sCT samples (40 µg-sCT/kg) in rats, sCT/SR-RP could enhance and prolong the hypocalcemic action of sCT possibly due to the sustained release and pulmonary absorption of sCT. From these observations, the strategic application of the FDD process could be efficacious to provide PLGA-based inhalable formulations of sCT, as well as other therapeutic peptides, to enhance their biopharmaceutical potentials.
Keywords: dry powder inhaler; fine droplet drying process; poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid); salmon calcitonin; sustained release.