Physicochemical and aerodynamical analysis of inhalable nanoemulsion system loaded with docetaxel and curcumin for lung cancer treatment via pulmonary route

M.B.A. Rahman, A.A. Asmawi, N. Salim, E. Abdmalek, M.J Masarudin
Universiti Putra Malaysia,

Keywords: aerosol, nanodelivery, nanoemulsion, lung cancer, pulmonary delivery


Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide due to late diagnosis and insufficient of effective treatment. Synergistic anticancer effect of chemotherapeutic (docetaxel) and chemosensitizer (curcumin) able to increase the efficiency of the treatment. However, the drugs’ bioavailability in combating the disease is hampered due to their poor solubility, low stability and high toxicity. Inhalation therapy of lipid-based carrier has great potential in direct target towards the respiratory diseases. Hence, attention has been focused on the development of aerosolized nanoemulsion system to deliver the drugs via pulmonary route. The selection of biocompatible nanoemulsion components along with their optimum concentration is crucial to get stable and clinically acceptable carrier system. In this work, the nanoemulsion formulation was prepared by high shear homogenizer and further characterized physicochemically and aerodynamically. The formulated docetaxel and curcumin-loaded nanoemulsion system was found to be in nano-sized, high colloidal stability with ζ-potential in the range of -30 to -40 mV, high drug entrapment efficiency greater than 96% in formulation containing 0.05% of drugs (w/w), homogenously dispersed with pH, osmolality and viscosity values met the ideal requirement for pulmonary application. Moreover, the formulation exhibited sustained drug release and excellent physical stability against extreme conditions. The aerosolized nanoemulsion system able to be deposited on the deep lung region with aerodynamic size less than 5 µm and demonstrated more than 95% aerosol output and inhalation efficiency greater than 75%. Overall, this synergistic drug combination using nanoemulsion formulation for inhalation mode has significant promise in lung cancer therapy.