Send to

Choose Destination
Respir Med. 2003 Apr;97(4):382-7.

Fundamentals of pulmonary drug delivery.

Author information

Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Immunology, Charité School of Medicine, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.


Aerosol administration of peptide-based drugs plays an important role in the treatment of pulmonary and systemic diseases and the unique cellular properties of airway epithelium offers a great potential to deliver new compounds. As the relative contributions from the large airways to the alveolar space are important to the local and systemic availability, the sites and mechanism of uptake and transport of different target compounds have to be characterized. Among the different respiratory cells, the ciliated epithelial cells of the larger and smaller airways and the type I and type II pneumocytes are the key players in pulmonary drug transport. With their diverse cellular characteristics, each of these cell types displays a unique uptake possibility. Next to the knowledge of these cellular aspects, the nature of aerosolized drugs, characteristics of delivery systems and the depositional and pulmonary clearance mechanisms display major targets to optimize pulmonary drug delivery. Based on the growing knowledge on pulmonary cell biology and pathophysiology due to modern methods of molecular biology, the future characterization of pulmonary drug transport pathways can lead to new strategies in aerosol drug therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center