Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 33, Issue 8, pp 1862–1872 | Cite as

Synthesis and Characterization of Nanocomposite Microparticles (nCmP) for the Treatment of Cystic Fibrosis-Related Infections

Research Paper



Pulmonary antibiotic delivery is recommended as maintenance therapy for cystic fibrosis (CF) patients who experience chronic infections. However, abnormally thick and sticky mucus present in the respiratory tract of CF patients impairs mucus penetration and limits the efficacy of inhaled antibiotics. To overcome the obstacles of pulmonary antibiotic delivery, we have developed nanocomposite microparticles (nCmP) for the inhalation application of antibiotics in the form of dry powder aerosols.


Azithromycin-loaded and rapamycin-loaded polymeric nanoparticles (NP) were prepared via nanoprecipitation and nCmP were prepared by spray drying and the physicochemical characteristics were evaluated.


The nanoparticles were 200 nm in diameter both before loading into and after redispersion from nCmP. The NP exhibited smooth, spherical morphology and the nCmP were corrugated spheres about 1 μm in diameter. Both drugs were successfully encapsulated into the NP and were released in a sustained manner. The NP were successfully loaded into nCmP with favorable encapsulation efficacy. All materials were stable at manufacturing and storage conditions and nCmP were in an amorphous state after spray drying. nCmP demonstrated desirable aerosol dispersion characteristics, allowing them to deposit into the deep lung regions for effective drug delivery.


The described nCmP have the potential to overcome mucus-limited pulmonary delivery of antibiotics.


cystic fibrosis nanocomposite microparticles pulmonary delivery spray drying 



Acetalated dextran






Deuterated chloroform


Cystic fibrosis


Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator


Deuterium oxide


N,N′-dicyclohexyl- carbodiimde


Deuterium chloride


4-(dimethylamino) pyridine


Emitted dose


Encapsulation efficiency


Fine particle dose


Fine particles fraction


Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose


Karl Fischer


Poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether


Nanocomposite microparticles


Next Generation Impactor






Powder X-ray diffraction




Respirable fraction


2-methoxypropene (2-MOP), triethylamine


poly(ethylene glycol) vitamin E


Acknowledgments And Disclosures

The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant number P20GM103430. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. The authors thank RI-INBRE for HPLC access and RIN2 for SEM, DLS, PXRD, and DSC access.

Supplementary material

11095_2016_1921_MOESM1_ESM.docx (160 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 159 kb)
11095_2016_1921_MOESM2_ESM.docx (36 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 35 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA

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