The P.R.I.T.® lung model to test nanoparticle-based drugs
The German technology P.R.I.T.® with
its air-liquid interface imitates lung behaviour. It is used for the
first time to test a nanoparticle-based drug designed for inhalation.
Many studies require
scientists to investigate effects of inhaled substances in lungs. One
can think of studies related to smoking behaviours or urban pollution
effects. Such studies are also needed for some drug development
processes. For example, the PneumoNP project develops a drug made for
inhalation. Toxicity is tested also by investigating lung reactions
under drug exposure.
There are several ways to forecast reaction
of lungs to a substance without exposing humans. For example animal
models are used for clinical trials. Of course ethical considerations
encourage alternative methods to limit such in vivo tests. The
Fraunhofer ITEM Institute in Hannover Germany developed an “in vitro
model of lungs”. In 2017 and for the first time this system called
P.R.I.T.® will be used for testing nanoparticle-based drugs.
P.R.I.T.® system belongs to the family of air-liquid interface setups.
Basically lung cells are placed on a membrane at the interface between
the inhaled atmosphere and the culture medium that acts as blood input.
These samples are exposed to a controlled test atmosphere containing the
drug. Many parameters can be specifically defined like the composition
of the air the flow or even pressure. The great advantage of this
technique is the almost-accurate replication of real-life lungs.
the PneumoNP project a nebuliser has been connected to the P.R.I.T.®
system to test a drug made for inhalation. Scientists place human cells
in the exposure unit and inject the nebulised drug in the air flow. The
study aims to check the toxicity of the therapeutic formulation.
Scientists are currently focusing on effects of the drug on lung cells
and their genes. Using the P.R.I.T.® technology to test a
nanoparticle-based drug is a premiere.
The Fraunhofer ITEM
Institute is currently leading the study in their laboratory based in
Hannover. First results will be publicly released by the end of the
year. Beside the PneumoNP study they use the P.R.I.T.® system within
other projects for testing aerosols particles and volatile organic
CONTINUE READING ON cordis.europa.eu