Synthesis, optimization, and characterization of camptothecin-loaded acetalated dextran porous microparticles for pulmonary delivery

Samantha A. Meenach, College of Pharmacy
Yu Jeong Kim, College of Pharmacy
Kevin J. Kauffman, The Ohio State University
Naveen Kanthamneni, College of Pharmacy
Eric M. Bachelder, College of Pharmacy
Kristy M. Ainslie, College of Pharmacy


We propose the use of a new biopolymer, acetalated dextran (Ac-DEX), to synthesize porous microparicles for pulmonary drug delivery. Ac-DEX is derived from the polysaccharide dextran and, unlike polyesters, has tunable degradation from days to months and pH neutral degradation products. Ac-DEX microparticles fabricated through emulsion techniques were optimized using a variety of postprocessing techniques to enhance the respirable fraction for pulmonary delivery. Tangential flow filtration resulted in a maximum 37% respirable fraction for Ac-DEX porous microparticles, compared to a 10% respirable fraction for poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) porous microparticles. Ac-DEX microparticles were of an optimum diameter to minimize macrophage clearance but had a low enough theoretical density for deep lung penetration. Transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurements showed that the particles did not impinge on a monolayer of lung epithelial cells in either air or liquid conditions. Also, the release of the chemotherapeutic camptothecin was shown to be tunable depending on Ac-DEX degradation time and molecular weight, and drug release was shown to be bioactive over a range of concentrations. Our results indicate that both release kinetics and fraction of burst release of drug from Ac-DEX porous microparticles can be tuned by simply changing the Ac-DEX polymer properties, affording a large range of formulation options for drug delivery to the pulmonary cavity. Overall, Ac-DEX porous microparticles show promise as an emerging carrier for pulmonary delivery of drugs to the alveolar region of the lung, particularly for the treatment of lung diseases. © 2011 American Chemical Society.