Pediatric lung development and nanoparticle-delivered therapy

Intro To The Paper/ Why this Paper is Important

By Dr Beck

Nanoparticle delivery in infant lungs , Manuela Semmler-Behnkea,1, Wolfgang G. Kreylinga, Holger Schulzb, Shinji Takenakaa, James P. Butlerc,d, Frank S. Henryd, and Akira Tsudad,

In this article, the layman will see a tour-de-force of 21st Century medical science. First, in the treatment of misconceptions about the airflow within the developing infant’s lungs. It is not diffusive, but convective flow. That’s is mass flow of air. Think, all-at-once as opposed to slowly diffusing. With that new understanding, the team of researchers go to work in a two-fold approach. Computational simulations and visualization, and animal (rat) experimentation of nanoparticle intake. Many factors are involved besides particle size nad particle material. The lungs of both infants and rats undergo major changes in the first 60 days after birth, essentially in three stages. Aveoli do not begin to take their mature form until the end of the first and beginning of the second stage occurring at 21 days after birth. It is in this time period that the researchers discover that maximum uptake of nanoparticles for drug therapy ocurs, as well.


“The lung surface is an ideal pathway to the bloodstream for
nanoparticle-based drug delivery. Thus far, research has focused
on the lungs of adults, and little is known about nanoparticle
behavior in the immature lungs of infants. Here, using nonlinear
dynamical systems analysis and in vivo experimentation in developing
animals, we show that nanoparticle deposition in postnatally
developing lungs peaks at the end of bulk alveolation. This
finding suggests a unique paradigm, consistent with the emerging
theory that as alveoli form through secondary septation, alveolar
flow becomes chaotic and chaotic mixing kicks in, significantly
enhancing particle deposition. This finding has significant implications
for the application of nanoparticle-based inhalation therapeutics
in young children with immature lungs from birth to ~2 years
of age…”

Full-text open access article