Targeted delivery of inhalation aerosols using magnetic particles
Presenting Author: Josué Sznitman(a)
(a) Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Department of Biomedical Engineering.
The pulmonary route presents an attractive route for topical treatment of lung diseases. Yet, our ability to confine the deposition of inhalation aerosols to specific lung regions still remains hugely insufficient. It has been hypothesized that by coupling magnetic particles to inhaled therapeutics the ability to target points in the lungs (e.g. tumors) can be substantially improved. Although the method has shown promise in seminal in vivo rodent studies, technical challenges have prevented successful targeting in humans. Here, we present the engineering foundations, including transport phenomena of magnetic particle inhalation, to overcome past pitfalls and demonstrate in vitro a path to successfully achieve pulmonary point targeting. First, in silico simulations are used in models of human lungs to demonstrate the feasibility of targeting magnetically-loaded aerosols. Subsequently, an in vitro system is designed, consisting of a smart inhaler coupled with a custom-made ventilation machine, and a true-scale 3D printed airway geometry. Using flow visualization and microscopy, our experiments track the motion of pulsed SPION-laden (superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles) aerosol boli and quantify their deposition on target near the magnet. Our inhalation platform allows for the first time to truly target aerosols to specific lung sites and may pave the way for improved treatment outcomes, including for example in reducing chemotherapy side effects in lung cancer patients.