Animal-derived drugs are currently widely-used to treat clinical lung surfactant deficiency, but synthetic surfactants have significant advantages as pharmaceutical agents. This article examines exogenous surfactants containing novel synthetic phospholipase-resistant lipids of extremely high surface activity. Mixtures of these lipid analogs with purified native surfactant apoproteins are detailed as a proof of concept for related fully-synthetic surfactants containing laboratory- produced peptides. The chemistry and biophysics of relevant lipid analogs and peptides are reviewed in the context of developing new synthetic drugs of utility for patients with surfactant deficiency or lung injury-related surfactant dysfunction.
Keywords: Synthetic lung surfactants, exogenous surfactants, phosphonolipids, lipid analogs, amphipathic peptides, surfactant peptides, acute lung injury
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