Development and Evaluation of Paclitaxel-Loaded Aerosol Nanocomposite Microparticles and Their Efficacy against Air-Grown Lung Cancer Tumor Spheroids

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Paclitaxel (as intravenous Taxol) is one of the most applied chemotherapeutics used for the treatment of lung cancer. This project involves the development of a dry powder nanocomposite microparticle (nCmP) aerosol containing PTX-loaded nanoparticles (NP) to be delivered via a dry powder inhaler to the lungs for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Nanoparticles were formulated by a single emulsion and solvent evaporation method, producing smooth, neutral PTX NP of approximately 200 nm in size. PTX nCmP were obtained via spray drying PTX NP with mannitol, producing amorphous wrinkled particles that demonstrated optimal aerosol deposition for in vitro pulmonary delivery. Free PTX, PTX NP, and PTX nCmP were evaluated in vitro in both 2D monolayers and 3D multicellular spheroids (MCS). PTX NP enhanced cytotoxicity when compared to pure drug in the 2D evaluation. However, on a liquid culture 3D tumor spheroid model, PTX NP and pure PTX showed similar efficacy in growth inhibition of MCS. The PTX nCmP formulation had a comparable cytotoxicity impact on MCS compared with free PTX. Finally, PTX nCmP were evaluated in an air-grown 3D MCS platform that mimics the pulmonary environment, representing a new model for the assessment of dry powder formulations.

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ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering