The advent of nanotechnology has reignited interest in the lungs as a major route of drug delivery for both
systemic and local treatments. As the end organ for the treatment of local diseases or as the route of administration for
systemic therapies, the lung is a very attractive target for drug delivery. The large surface area and the minimal barriers
impeding access to the lung’s periphery make this organ a suitable portal for a variety of therapeutic interventions.
Pulmonary drug delivery is an alternative method to subcutaneous injection, and also intravenous injection. Pulmonary
drug delivery system is also used for delivery of peptides and some sensitive drugs. It provides direct access to disease in
the treatment of respiratory diseases, while providing an enormous surface area and a relatively low enzymatic, controlled
environment for systemic absorption of medications. The formulation most commonly used for pulmonary delivery
includes nanoparticles, liposomes, niosomes and microspheres. Among these, on one hand a lots of attention has been
focused to improve the bioavailability of marketed drugs intended for respiratory diseases and to develop new concepts
for pulmonary administration of drugs and, on the other hand, the pulmonary route used for systemic diseases.
Nanoparticle formulations have many advantages over traditional dosage forms, such as potential to achieve relatively
uniform distribution of drug dose among the alveoli, improved solubility of the drug, reduced dosing frequency,
improvement in patient compliance, decrease in incidence of side effects, enhanced dissolution properties and the
potential for intracellular drug delivery. Polymers have also been used to improve therapeutic effect, while minimizing
side effect. Specifically, pure drug nanoparticles and polymeric nanoparticles offer some encouraging results for
delivering drugs through the lungs. Traditional techniques such as spray drying, supercritical fluid extraction, precipitation
and solvent extraction have been employed to produce nanoparticulate formulations for pulmonary delivery. Here, we
review various aspects of nanoparticulate formulation along with characterization and their applications with recent
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