Affiliation: Pulmonary Department, “G. Papanikolaou” General Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Aerosolized therapies have been used in everyday clinical practice for decades. Experimentation with different delivery systems have led to the creation of aerosolized insulin, antibiotics, gene therapy and chemotherapy. Several of these therapies are already clinically available while others are being investigated in active clinical trials. The main factors affecting the efficiency and safety of the aerosolized therapies are the production of the aerosol, distribution/deposition of the aerosol throughout the lung parenchyma, respiratory defense mechanisms and tissue/pharmaceutical molecule interactions. Current methods of aerosol production and distribution will be presented along with an overview of the respiratory defense mechanisms. In addition, methods of aerosol evaluation in conjunction with a future perspective of the potential development of aerosol therapies will be presented.