In this study, we aim to investigate the effects of disaccharides and liposome carriers on the activity, solid state characteristics, structural preservation, and aerosol powder performance of spray-dried superoxide dismutase (SOD) formulations. Sucrose, trehalose, and lactose were selected as stabilizing adjuvants in the spray-drying process. Dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) was the major lipid component for preparing liposomes. These SOD formulations were characterized with SOD activity assay, particle size, residual moisture content, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA), differential scanning calorimeter (DSC), and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. We found that the inlet/outlet temperature of spray drying can be performed up to 168/122°C with maintaining the activity of SOD in the SOD\DPPC\sucrose formulation for 98%. The SEM image of this formulation showed wrinkled and raisin-like appearance. Aerosol powder performance test demonstrated that this formulation exhibited excellent emitted dose (ED, 71%), aerodynamic diameter (2 μm), and respirable fraction (RF, 72%). DSC study suggested an indication of initial electrostatic stabilization of SOD by DPPC and sucrose, the following lipid perturbation by SOD, and the formation of an inclusion complex, thus minimizing the individual transition peaks of SOD and DPPC. FT-IR study showed that the major secondary structure of SOD, β-sheet, was maintained in this formulation. The surface ESCA analysis of this formulation suggested the absence of SOD on the surface region of the powders, indicating that SOD was well surrounded and protected by DPPC and sucrose. Spray drying has been demonstrated to be a feasible process to preserve the activity of SOD in the formulation of DPPC liposomes with sucrose.
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