Engineering artesunate-loaded micelles using spray drying for pulmonary drug delivery

Satyanarayana Somavarapu, Acom Sornsute, Jeanne Trill, Hend Abdelhakim, Dinithi Goonatilaka, Ananth Pannala, Kevin Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Novel d-α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (TPGS) micelles containing the anti-cancer drug artesunate (ART) were developed in a dry powder form for inhalation for the treatment of lung cancer. Targeted delivery to the lungs via inhalation presents a challenge, and the current study involved the development, characterization, and cytotoxicity determination of the dry powder formulations. TPGS micelles encapsulating ART were successfully prepared using thin-film hydration method, followed by the preparation of a dry powder formulation through spray-drying, which included lactose and leucine as carrier molecules. Characterization of the dry powder formulation using Sympatec laser diffraction particle size analyzer and a next generation impactor. The analysis showed a unimodal particle size distribution with a mean particle size of 3.27 μm and a fine particle fraction of 31%, respectively. Artesunate-loaded micelle dry powder formulation demonstrated higher cytotoxicity against the A549 adenocarcinomic human alveolar basal epithelial cell line when compared to currently used cancer therapies docetaxel and doxorubicin. Overall, this study demonstrates that spray-dried micelles containing artesunate have the potential to be used as a dry powder formulation for inhalation in the treatment of lung cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104641
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2023


  • Artesunate
  • Anticancer
  • Vitamin E TPGS
  • Dry powder formulation
  • Lung cancer


Dive into the research topics of 'Engineering artesunate-loaded micelles using spray drying for pulmonary drug delivery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this