Calf Lung Surfactant Recovers Surface Functionality After Exposure to Aerosols Containing Polymeric Particles

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Thursday, January 28, 2016
Amir M. Farnoud
Jennifer Fiegel
Journal Title: 
Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery

Background: Recent studies have shown that colloidal particles can disrupt the interfacial properties of lung surfactant and thus key functional abilities of lung surfactant. However, the mechanisms underlying the interactions between aerosols and surfactant films remain poorly understood, as our ability to expose films to particles via the aerosol route has been limited. The aim of this study was to develop a method to reproducibly apply aerosols with a quantifiable particle dose on lung surfactant films and investigate particle-induced changes to the interfacial properties of the surfactant under conditions that more closely mimic those in vivo.

Methods: Films of DPPC and Infasurf® were exposed to aerosols containing polystyrene particles generated using a Dry Powder Insufflator. The dose of particles deposited on surfactant films was determined via light absorbance. The interfacial properties of the surfactant were studied using a Langmuir-Wilhelmy balance during surfactant compression to film collapse and cycles of surface compression and expansion at a fast cycling rate within a small surface area range.

Results: Exposure of surfactant films to aerosols led to reproducible dosing of particles on the films. In film collapse experiments, particle deposition led to slight changes in collapse surface pressure and surface area of both surfactants. However, longer interaction times between particles and Infasurf® films resulted in time-dependent inhibition of surfactant function. When limited to lung relevant surface pressures, particles reduced the maximum surface pressure that could be achieved. This inhibitory effect persisted for all compression-expansion cycles in DPPC, but normal surfactant behavior was restored in Infasurf® films after five cycles.

Conclusions: The observation that Infasurf® was able to quickly restore its function after exposure to aerosols under conditions that better mimicked those in vivo suggests that particle-induced surfactant inhibition is unlikely to occur in vivodue to an aerosol exposure.


Farnoud, Amir M., and Jennifer Fiegel. "Calf lung surfactant recovers surface functionality after exposure to aerosols containing polymeric particles." Journal of aerosol medicine and pulmonary drug delivery 29, no. 1 (2016): 10-23.