Research Paper

Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 29, Issue 9, pp 2456-2467

First online:

Magnetised Thermo Responsive Lipid Vehicles for Targeted and Controlled Lung Drug Delivery

  • Dhrumil UpadhyayAffiliated withThe University of Sydney, The Faculty of Pharmacy
  • , Santo ScaliaAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ferrara University
  • , Robert VogelAffiliated withSchool of Mathematics and Physics, The University of Queensland
  • , Nial WheateAffiliated withStrathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde
  • , Rania O. SalamaAffiliated withThe University of Sydney, The Faculty of PharmacyFaculty of Pharmacy, University of Alexandria
  • , Paul M. YoungAffiliated withThe University of Sydney, The Faculty of Pharmacy
  • , Daniela TrainiAffiliated withThe University of Sydney, The Faculty of Pharmacy
  • , Wojciech ChrzanowskiAffiliated withThe University of Sydney, The Faculty of Pharmacy Email author 

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Conditions such as lung cancer currently lack non-invasively targetable and controlled release topical inhalational therapies. Superparamagnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) have shown promising results as a targetable therapy. We aimed to fabricate and test the in-vitro performance of particles with SPION and drug within a lipid matrix as a potentially targetable and thermo-sensitive inhalable drug-delivery system.


Budesonide and SPIONs were incorporated into lipid particles using oil-in-water emulsification. Particles size, chemical composition, responsiveness to magnetic field, thermosensitiveness and inhalation performance in-vitro were investigated.


Particles of average diameter 2–4 μm with budesonide and SPIONs inside the lipid matrix responded to a magnetic field with 100% extraction at a distance of 5 mm. Formulations were shown to have accelerated rate of drug release at hyperthermic temperatures (45°C)—controlled release. The produced inhalation dry powder presented promising inhalation performance, with an inhalable fine particle fraction of 30%.


The lipid system presented thermo-sensitive characteristics, suitable for controlled delivery, the model drug and SPION loaded lipid system was magnetically active and movable using simple permanent magnets, and the system demonstrates promise as an effective drug vehicle in targeted and controlled inhalation therapy.


controlled drug delivery inhalation iron oxide lipid magneto-responsive thermo-responsive triggered drug release