2019 Volume 36 Pages 129-144
Significant progress has been made over the last half-century in delivering therapeutics by the pulmonary route. Inhaled therapeutics are administered to humans using metered-dose inhalers, nebulizers, or dry powder inhalers, and each device requires a different formulation strategy for the therapeutic to be successfully delivered into the lung. In recent years, there has been a shift to the use of dry powder inhalers due to advantages in the consistency of the dose delivered, ease of administration, and formulation stability. Numerous preclinical studies, involving small and large animals, have evaluated dry powder drugs, vaccines, and immunotherapeutics delivered by the pulmonary route. These studies used different dry powder delivery devices including nose-only, whole-body, and intratracheal administration systems, each of which works with different aerosolization mechanisms. Unfortunately, these delivery platforms usually lead to variable powder deposition in the respiratory tract of animals. In this review, we will discuss obstacles and variables that affect successful pulmonary delivery and uniform powder deposition in the respiratory tract, such as the type of delivery device, dry powder formulation, and the animal model used. We will conclude by outlining factors that enhance the reproducible deposition of dry powders in the respiratory tract of preclinical animal models and identifying knowledge and technology gaps within the field. We will also outline the important factors necessary for successful translation of studies performed in preclinical models to humans.