This article reviews the pulmonary route of administration, aerosol delivery devices, characterization of pulmonary drug delivery systems, and discusses the rationale for inhaled delivery of siRNA. Diseases with known protein malfunctions may be mitigated through the use of siRNA therapeutics. The inhalation route of administration provides local delivery of siRNA therapeutics for the treatment of various pulmonary diseases, however barriers to pulmonary delivery and intracellular delivery of siRNA exists. siRNA loaded nanocarriers can be used to overcome the barriers associated with the pulmonary route, such as anatomical barriers, mucociliary clearance, and alveolar macrophage clearance. Apart from naked siRNA aerosol delivery, previously studied siRNA carrier systems comprise of lipidic, polymeric, peptide, or inorganic origin. Such siRNA delivery systems formulated as aerosols can be successfully delivered via an inhaler or nebulizer to the pulmonary region. Preclinical animal investigations of inhaled siRNA therapeutics rely on intratracheal and intranasal siRNA and siRNA nanocarrier delivery. Aerosolized siRNA delivery systems may be characterized using in vitrotechniques, such as dissolution test, inertial cascade impaction, delivered dose uniformity assay, laser diffraction, and laser Doppler velocimetry. The ex vivotechniques used to characterize pulmonary administered formulations include the isolated perfused lung model. In vivotechniques like gamma scintigraphy, 3D SPECT, PET, MRI, fluorescence imaging and pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamics analysis may be used for evaluation of aerosolized siRNA delivery systems. The use of inhalable siRNA delivery systems encounters barriers to their delivery, however overcoming the barriers while formulating a safe and effective delivery system will offer unique advances to the field of inhaled medicine.
Youngren-Ortiz, S. R., Gandhi, N. S., España-Serrano, L., & Chougule, M. B. (2016). Aerosol delivery of siRNA to the lungs. part 1: Rationale for gene delivery systems. KONA Powder and Particle Journal. Hosokawa Powder Technology Foundation. https://doi.org/10.14356/kona.2016014