AAPS PharmSciTech

, Volume 19, Issue 7, pp 2767–2777 | Cite as

A Simplified Geometric Model to Predict Nasal Spray Deposition in Children and Adults

  • Mow Yee Foo
  • Namita Sawant
  • Ellen Overholtzer
  • Maureen D. DonovanEmail author
Research Article Theme: Team Science and Education for Pharmaceuticals: the NIPTE Model
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Theme: Team Science and Education for Pharmaceuticals: the NIPTE Model


A mathematical approach was developed to estimate spray deposition patterns in the nasal cavity based on the geometric relationships between the emitted spray plume and the anatomical dimensions of the nasal valve region of the nasal cavity. Spray plumes were assumed to be spherical cones and the nasal valve region was approximated as an ellipse. The effect of spray plume angle (15–85°) on the fraction of the spray able to pass through the nasal valve (deposition fraction) was tested for a variety of nasal valve (ellipse) shapes and cross-sectional areas based on measured dimensions from pediatric and adult nasal cavities. The effect of the distances between the tip of the nasal spray device and the nasal valve (0.2–1.9 cm) on the deposition fraction was also tested. Simulation results show that (1) decreasing spray plume angles resulted in higher deposition fractions, (2) deposition fraction was inversely proportional to the spray distance and the nasal valve (ellipse) major/minor axis ratio, and (3) for fixed major/minor axis ratios, improved deposition occurred with larger nasal valve cross-sectional areas. For a typical adult nasal valve, plume angles of less than 40° emitted from a distance of 1 cm resulted depositions greater than 90% within the main nasal cavity, whereas for a 12-year-old child, only the most narrow plume angles (< 20°) administered resulted in significant deposition beyond the nasal valve.


airway modeling intranasal delivery nasal spray nasal deposition nasal valve 


Funding Information

This study was funded by an FDA Grant to the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology and Education (NIPTE) titled “The Critical Path Manufacturing Sector Research Initiative (U01)”: grant no. 5U01FD004275.

The results and conclusions presented reflect the opinions of the authors and not those of the funding agencies.


  1. 1.
    Cheng YS, Yeh HC, Swift DL. Aerosol deposition in human nasal airway for particles 1 nm to 20 μm: a model study. Radiat Prot Dosim. 1991;38:41–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kimbell JS, Segal RA, Asgharian B, Wong BA, Schroeter JD, Southall JP, et al. Characterization of deposition from nasal spray devices using a computational fluid dynamics model of the human nasal passages. J Aerosol Med. 2007;20(1):59–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Frank DO, Kimbell JS, Pawar S, Rhee JS. Effects of anatomy and particle size on nasal sprays and nebulizers. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012;146(2):313–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Xi J, Si X, Kim JW, Berlinski A. Simulation of airflow and aerosol deposition in the nasal cavity of a 5-year-old child. J Aerosol Sci. 2011;42(3):156–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kundoor V, Dalby RN. Effect of formulation and administration related variables on deposition pattern of nasal spray pumps evaluated using a nasal cast. Pharm Res. 2011;28(8):1895–904.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Foo MY, Cheng YS, Su WC, Donovan MD. The influence of spray properties on intranasal deposition. J Aerosol Med. 2007;20(4):495–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Suman JD, Laube BL, Lin T, Brouet G, Dalby R. Validity of in vitro tests on aqueous spray pumps as surrogates for nasal deposition. Pharm Res. 2002;19(1):1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Laube BL, Sharpless G, Vikani AR, Harrand V, Zinreich SJ, Sedberry K, et al. Intranasal deposition of Accuspray™ aerosol in anatomically correct models of 2-, 5-, and 12-year-old children. J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv. 2015;28(5):320–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tong X, Dong J, Shang Y, Inthavong K, Tu J. Effects of nasal drug delivery device and its orientation on sprayed particle deposition in a realistic human nasal cavity. Comput Biol Med. 2016;77:40–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Newman SP, Moren F, Clarke SW. Deposition pattern of nasal sprays in man. Rhinology. 1988;26(2):111–20.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Xi J, Yuan JE, Zhang Y, Nevorski D, Wang Z, Zhou Y. Visualization and quantification of nasal and olfactory deposition in a sectional adult nasal airway cast. Pharm Res. 2016;33(6):1527–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sawant NA, Donovan MD. In vitro assessment of spray deposition patterns in a pediatric (12 year-old) nasal cavity model. Pharm Res. 2018;35(5):108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kublik H, Vidgren MT. Nasal delivery systems and their effect on deposition and absorption. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 1998;29(1):157–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Aggarwal R, Cardozo A, Homer J. The assessment of topical nasal drug distribution. Clin Otolaryngol. 2004;29(3):201–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hallworth GW, Padfield JM. A comparison of the regional deposition in a model nose of a drug discharged from metered serosel and metered-pump nasal delivery systems. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1986;77(2):348–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Inthavong K, Tian Z, Li H, Tu J, Yang W, Xue C, et al. A numerical study of spray particle deposition in a human nasal cavity. Aerosol Sci Technol. 2006;40(11):1034–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Rygg A, Hindle M, Longest PW. Linking suspension nasal spray drug deposition patterns to pharmacokinetic profiles: a proof-of-concept study using computational fluid dynamics. J Pharm Sci. 2016;105(6):1995–2004.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Engelhardt L, Röhm M, Mavoungou C, Schindowski K, Schafmeister A, Simon U. First steps to develop and validate a CFPD model in order to support the design of nose-to-brain delivered biopharmaceuticals. Pharm Res. 2016;33(6):1337–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Abd El-Shafy MA PJ, Bommareddy GSP, Dondeti P, Egbaria K. Plume geometry and spray pattern tests as tools to predict nasal deposition. AAPS PharmSci. 2000;2(2):Abstract 297.
  20. 20.
    Foo MY. Deposition pattern of nasal sprays in the human nasal airway—interactions among formulation, device, anatomy and administration techniques: University of Iowa; 2007.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Larson RE, Hostetler RP, Edwards BH. Multiple integration. In: Calculus with analytical geometry. Lexington: D. C. Heath and Company; 1990. p. 959.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Gillett P. Calculus and analytic geometry. Lexington: D. C. Heath and Company; 1981. p. 641–5.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Xi J, Longest PW. Numerical predictions of submicrometer aerosol deposition in the nasal cavity using a novel drift flux approach. Int J Heat Mass Transf. 2008;51(23):5562–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Dastan A, Abouali O, Ahmadi G. CFD simulation of total and regional fiber deposition in human nasal cavities. J Aerosol Sci. 2014;69:132–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kesavanathan J, Bascom R, Swift DL. The effect of nasal passage characteristics on particle deposition. J Aerosol Med. 1998;11(1):27–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Riechelmann H, Rheinheimer M, Wolfensberger M. Acoustic rhinometry in pre-school children. Clin Otolaryngol. 1993;18(4):272–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Pedersen O, Hilberg O, Berkowitz R, Yamagiwa M. Nasal cavity dimensions in the newborn measured by acoustic reflections. Laryngoscope. 1994;104(8):1023–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Warren D, Duany L, Fischer N. Nasal pathway resistance in normal and cleft lip and palate subjects. Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 1969;6:134–40.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ghahramani E, Abouali O, Emdad H, Ahmadi G. Numerical analysis of stochastic dispersion of micro-particles in turbulent flows in a realistic model of human nasal/upper airway. J Aerosol Sci. 2014;67:188–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Keeler JA, Patki A, Woodard CR, Frank-Ito DO. A computational study of nasal spray deposition pattern in four ethnic groups. J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv. 2016;29(2):153–66.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mow Yee Foo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Namita Sawant
    • 1
  • Ellen Overholtzer
    • 1
  • Maureen D. Donovan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of PharmacyUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.Novartis PharmaceuticalsShanghaiChina

Personalised recommendations