An assistant professor at the University Of Arizona College Of Pharmacy is developing advanced dry powder inhalers for the prevention and treatment of pulmonary disorders. Her aim is to design treatments for pulmonary diseases through the investigation and development of novel drugs and delivery mechanisms. Her particular focus is on dry powder inhalation aerosols, or inhalers.
Heidi M. Mansour, Ph.D., is investigating pulmonary states and diseases that still have high unmet medical needs, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, pulmonary fibrosis (PF), lung transplants, lung cancer (LC), cystic fibrosis (CF), pulmonary infections, and pulmonary hypertension.
Mansour recently published an article titled “Dry Powder Inhalers in COPD, Lung Inflammation and Pulmonary Infections” in the journal Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery, describing her research in detail. The article presents and debates currently available dry powder inhalers for inhalable drug formulations used in the treatment of COPD, asthma, and other pulmonary infections.
Mansour says that in her opinion, delivering drugs to the lungs is the best way to treat many pulmonary diseases, but this method carries unique challenges and complexities.
“The lung is the organ of life that we’re targeting, so there are added regulations and added safety limits that we have to work within,” she said in a press release. “You’re restricted in the volume and mass you can deliver because you can’t block the airways and suffocate the patient. There are added regulations for this class of products within the FDA.”
To the researcher, these challenges are worth the reward of seeing a product provide patients with better lives. With this research, Mansour wishes to see these advanced dry powder inhalers end up on pharmacy shelves.
“Our research program integrates fundamental principles of nanotechnology, solid-state particle engineering design, aerosol science, lung biophysics and biomedical drug delivery approaches to the development of aerosol medicine as high-performing multifunctional dry powder inhalers (DPIs) to treat complex lung conditions for precision pulmonary medicine,” Mansour said.
“Our team has been successfully designing and tailoring multifunctional DPIs — novel formulations and inhaler devices — for a number of complex pulmonary diseases that have historically been challenging to effectively treat. Our research lab is one of only a very few labs in the United States that conducts this cutting-edge scientific biomedical research in nanotechnology and multifunctional dry powder inhalers for targeted pulmonary delivery,” Mansour added.