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Effect of inhaled drugs and excipients on lung surfactant quality in vitro and correlation with lung function

Pulmonary surfactant coats the inside of the lungs, creating a fluid surface that is compressed during expiration. If the surfactant layer is damaged it will not be able to lower the surface tension, leading to liquid blocking of the terminal bronchioles and in severe cases partial collapse of alveolar tissue. The patient may experience labored breathing and worsening of disease symptoms as a consequence.

The impact of inhaled drugs and excipients on pulmonary surfactant quality is largely unknown. Drugs and excipients that increase surface tension will have a detrimental effect on respiratory mechanics. Our hypothesis is that some drugs and excipients may impair the pulmonary surfactant and thereby increase the surface tension of the surfactant lining inducing breathing difficulties and potentially pathology.

Our aim is to understand how inhaled drugs and excipients interact with the pulmonary surfactant lining, and to use this knowledge to develop new tools for testing drugs in AstraZeneca’s pipeline and ultimately to improve treatment of severe pulmonary diseases.

The results from this project are highly relevant to research on the impact of particles found in the working environment, such as nanoparticles.

You can read more about the project here on the website.


National Research Centre for the Working Environment | Lersø Parkallé 105 | DK-2100 Copenhagen O | Denmark |

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