Development of a New Inhaler for High-Efficiency Dispersion of Spray-Dried Powders Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Modeling
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Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling offers a powerful tool for the development of drug delivery devices using a first principles approach but has been underutilized in the development of pharmaceutical inhalers. The objective of this study was to develop quantitative correlations for predicting the aerosolization behavior of a newly proposed dry powder inhaler (DPI). The dose aerosolization and containment (DAC) unit DPI utilizes inlet and outlet air orifices designed to maximize the dispersion of spray-dried powders, typically with low air volumes (~ 10 mL) and relatively low airflow rates (~ 3 L/min). Five DAC unit geometries with varying orifice outlet sizes, configurations, and protrusion distances were considered. Aerosolization experiments were performed using cascade impaction to determine mean device emitted dose (ED) and mass median aerodynamic diameter (MMAD). Concurrent CFD simulations were conducted to predict both flow field-based and particle-based dispersion parameters that captured different measures of turbulence. Strong quantitative correlations were established between multiple measures of turbulence and the experimentally observed aerosolization metrics of ED and MMAD. As expected, increasing turbulence produced increased ED with best case values reaching 85% of loaded dose. Surprisingly, decreasing turbulence produced an advantageous decrease in MMAD with values as low as approximately 1.6 μm, which is in contrast with previous studies. In conclusion, CFD provided valuable insights into the performance of the DAC unit DPI as a new device including a two-stage aerosolization process offering multiple avenues for future enhancements.
KEY WORDSaerosol delivery to children aerosolization with low air volumes dry powder inhalers pharmaceutical aerosols quantitative analysis and design spray-dried powders
Dr. Michael Hindle is gratefully acknowledged for reviewing the manuscript and making helpful suggestions.
Research reported in this publication was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01HD087339 and by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01HL139673. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Virginia Commonwealth University is currently pursuing patent protection of devices and methods described in this study, which if licensed and commercialized, may provide a future financial interest to the authors.
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