Nanotechnology Approach for Inhalation Treatment of Pulmonary (Lung) Fibrosis

Inhalation Treatment

Invention Summary:

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), the spontaneous development of scar tissue within the lungs, is a progressive fibrotic disease which impairs the lung’s ability to get oxygen. To date, its pathogenesis remains elusive and the survival time of patients is between three and five years. Pirfenidone, an orally active small molecule drug, has been granted the Orphan Drug and Fast track designation by the FDA, and is approved and marketed in Europe as Esbriet® for mild to moderate IPF in adults. It is currently awaiting approval in the U.S. However, due to its limited efficacy, there is still need for effective and safe treatments for this irreversibly progressive fatal disease. Researchers at Rutgers have designed novel delivery mechanisms for PGE2- and nucleic acid-containing nanoparticles for treatment of IPF. These researchers have demonstrated that in comparison to conventional treatments, this delivery system enhanced therapeutic efficacy, restricted lung tissue damage and completely prevented animal mortality. In addition, genetic analyses revealed that the inhalation of liposomal PGE2 prevented disturbances in expression of genes linked to development of IPF, inflammation and fibrotic injury.

Further results from studies using orthotopic mouse models of lung disease, revealed that local pulmonary delivery of nanoparticles via inhalation reduced side-effects to other organs and enhanced cellular internalization of the drugs and nucleic acids. Given the fatal prognosis of IPF in a majority of the patients, this novel inhalation administration of drugs and nucleic acids can potentially lead to favorable and progression-free outcomes in the treatment and management of this disease. 

Market Application:

  • Nanocarrier-Based Targeted Delivery System
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Treatment
  • Inhalation treatment 


High efficiency in delivering drugs and nucleic acids specifically to lungs via inhalation. Enhanced cellular internalization of siRNA delivered by nanoparticles. Accumulation of a drug and nucleic acid predominately in the lungs, leaving healthy organs intact. Enhanced therapeutic efficiency when compared with conventional treatment.

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending 

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Shemaila Sultana
Assistant Director
Rutgers University
Respiratory Disease