Pulmonary pharmaceutical formulations are targeted for the treatment of respiratory diseases.
However, their application is limited due to the physiological characteristics of the lungs, such as
branching structure, mucociliary and macrophages, as well as certain properties of the drugs like particle
size and solubility. Nano-formulations can ameliorate particle sizes and improve drug solubility to
enhance bioavailability in the lungs. The nano-formulations for lungs reviewed in this article can be
classified into nanocarriers, no-carrier-added nanosuspensions and polymer-drug conjugates. Compared
with conventional inhalation preparations, these novel pulmonary pharmaceutical formulations
have their own advantages, such as increasing drug solubility for better absorption and less inflammatory
reaction caused by the aggregation of insoluble drugs; prolonging pulmonary retention time and
reducing drug clearance; improving the patient compliance by avoiding multiple repeated administrations.
This review will provide the reader with some background information for pulmonary drug delivery
and give an overview of the existing literature about nano-formulations for pulmonary application
to explore nano-strategies for improving the bioavailability of pulmonary pharmaceutical formulations.
Keywords: Nano-strategies, pulmonary pharmaceutical formulations, bioavailability, nanocarriers, no-carrier-added nanosuspensions,
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