Drug permeation and cellular interaction of amino acid-coated drug combination powders for pulmonary delivery

Ville Vartiainen, Luis M. Bimbo, Jouni Hirvonen, Esko I. Kauppinen, Janne Raula

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of three amino acid coatings (L-leucine, L-valine and L-phenylalanine) on particle integrity, aerosolization properties, cellular interaction, cytocompatibility, and drug permeation properties of drug combination powder particles (beclomethasone dipropionate and salbutamol sulphate) for dry powder inhalation (DPI) was investigated. Particles with crystalline L-leucine coating resulted in intact separated particles, with crystalline L-valine coating in slightly sintered particles and with amorphous L-phenylalanine coating in strongly fused particles. The permeation of beclomethasone dipropionate across a Calu-3 differentiated cell monolayer was increased when compared with its physical mixture. Drug crystal formation was also observed on the Calu-3 cell monolayer. The L-leucine coated particles were further investigated for cytocompatibility in three human pulmonary (Calu-3, A549 and BEAS-2B) and one human macrophage (THP-1) cell lines, where they showed excellent tolerability. The l-leucine coated particles were also examined for their ability to elicit reactive oxygen species in pulmonary BEAS-2B and macrophage THP-1 cell lines. The study showed the influence of the amino acid coatings for particle formation and performance and their feasibility for combination therapy for pulmonary delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
Early online date29 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • amino acid
  • drug delivery
  • inhalation
  • epithelial cell
  • cell viability


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