The influence of humidity on the aerosolisation of micronised and SEDS produced salbutamol sulphate

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The influence of storage humidity on the aerosolisation efficiency of micronised and supercritical fluid salbutamol sulphate formulations (containing a lactose carrier) were investigated using the twin stage impinger (TSI). Storage humidity had a significant effect on the aerosolisation efficiency of both micronised and solution enhanced dispersion by supercritical fluids (SEDS) salbutamol sulphate (ANOVA P<0.05), suggesting capillary interactions to be an important factor when considering formulation performance. Furthermore, significant differences between the aerosolisation performance of micronised and SEDS salbutamol sulphate were observed at elevated humidities (>63% RH) (Fishers pairwise P<0.05). It is suggested that such variations may be due to differences in physical stability of the micronised and SEDS produced material. Dynamic vapor sorption, and atomic force microscopy (AFM) phase imaging suggested the micronised material to contain amorphous content that was most likely present on the micronised particulate surfaces. Thus, at high humidity, surface amorphous regions may have the ability to re-crystallize and effectively ‘fuse’ to the lactose carrier surface. This would potentially reduce the ability for the micronised material to be aerosolized and thus result in a greater decrease in FPF when compared to SEDS produced material at equivalent RH.

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