Nebulizing poractant alfa versus conventional instillation: Ultrastructural appearance and preservation of surface activity

Stefan Minocchieri, S. Knoch, W.M. Schoel, M. Ochs, M. Nelle

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    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Summary Background Nebulized surfactant therapy has been proposed as an alternative method of surfactant administration. The use of a perforated vibrating membrane nebulizer provides a variety of advantages over conventional nebulizers. We investigated the molecular structure and integrity of poractant alfa pre- and post-nebulization. Method Curosurf® was nebulized using an Investigational eFlow® Nebulizer System. Non-nebulized surfactant ("NN"), recollected surfactant droplets from nebulization through an endotracheal tube ("NT") and nebulization of surfactant directly onto a surface ("ND") were investigated by transmission electron microscopy. Biophysical characteristics were assessed by the Langmuir-Wilhelmy balance and the Captive Bubble Surfactometer. Results Volume densities of lamellar body-like forms (LBL) and multi-lamellar forms (ML) were high for "NN" and "NT" samples (38.8% vs. 47.7% for LBL and 58.2% vs. 47.8% for ML). In the "ND" sample, we found virtually no LBL's, ML's (72.6%) as well as uni-lamellar forms (16.4%) and a new structure, the "garland-like" forms (9.4%). Surface tension for "NN" and "NT" was 23.33 ± 0.29 and 25.77 ± 1.12 mN/m, respectively. Dynamic compression-expansion cycling minimum surface tensions were between 0.91 and 1.77 mN/m. Conclusion The similarity of surfactant characteristics of nebulized surfactant via a tube and the non-nebulized surfactant suggests that vibrating membrane nebulizers are suitable for surfactant nebulization. Alterations in surfactant morphology and characteristics after nebulization were transient. A new structural subtype of surfactant was identified. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2014; 49:348-356. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)348-356
    JournalPediatric Pulmonology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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