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Mankind has inhaled substances for medical and other reasons for thousands of years, notably resulting in the cultural manifestations of tobacco and opium smoking. Over the course of time concepts of pulmonary application, including inhalation devices and drug formulations, have been and still are being continuously developed. State of the art instruments even allow for individualized drug application by adaptation of the inhalation procedure to the breathing pattern of the patient. Pulmonary drug delivery offers promising advantages in comparison to "classical" drug administration via the oral or transcutaneous routes, which is also reflected by an increasing interest and number of marketed products for inhalation therapy. However, the lungs' efficient clearance mechanisms still limit the benefit of many therapeutic concepts. In consequence the objective of current research and development in pulmonary drug delivery is to overcome and to control drug clearance from the intended target site. Here, several of the most auspicious future drug delivery concepts are presented and discussed in order to give the reader an insight into this emerging field of medicine.


Andreas Henning, Stephanie Hein, Marc Schneider, Michael Bur, Claus-Michael Lehr. Pulmonary drug delivery: medicines for inhalation. Handbook of experimental pharmacology. 2010(197):171-92

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PMID: 20217530

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