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Pulmonary monoclonal antibody delivery via a portable microfluidic nebulization platform

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Nebulizers have considerable advantages over conventional inhalers for pulmonary drug administration, particularly because they do not require coordinated breath actuation to generate and deliver the aerosols. Nevertheless, besides being less amenable to miniaturization and hence portability, some nebulizers are prone to denature macromolecular drugs due to the large forces generated during aerosolization. Here, we demonstrate a novel portable acoustomicrofluidic device capable of nebulizing epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibodies into a fine aerosol mist with a mass median aerodynamic diameter of approximately 1.1 μm, optimal for deep lung deposition via inhalation. The nebulized monoclonal antibodies were tested for their stability, immunoactivity, and pharmacological properties, which confirmed that nebulization did not cause significant degradation of the antibody. In particular, flow cytometry demonstrated that the antigen binding capability of the antibody is retained and able to reduce phosphorylation in cells overexpressing the EGFR, indicating that the aerosols generated by the device were loaded with stable and active monoclonal antibodies. The delivery of antibodies via inhalation, particularly for the treatment of lung cancer, is thus expected to enhance the efficacy of this protein therapeutic by increasing the local concentration where they are needed.

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