Assessment of new-generation high-power electronic nicotine delivery system as thermal aerosol generation device for inhaled bronchodilators

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A need remains for alternative devices for aerosol drug delivery that are low cost, convenient and easy to use for the patient, but also capable of producing small-sized aerosol particles. This study investigated the potential of recent high power electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) as aerosol generation devices for inhaled bronchodilators.


The particle size distribution was measured using a cascade impactor. The delivery of terbutaline sulfate, a current bronchodilator used for asthma or COPD therapy by inhalation, was studied. This drug was quantified by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry.


The particle size distribution in terms of mass frequency (in two ways, gravimetrically and quantitatively through drug assay on each stage) and the terbutaline sulfate concentration in the aerosol were elucidated. The mass median aerodynamic diameter (MMAD) and the drug delivery rose when the power level increased, to reach 5.6 ± 0.4 μg/puff with a MMAD of 0.78 ± 0.03 μm at 25 W.


New generation high-power ENDS are very efficient to generate carrier-droplets in the submicron range containing drug molecules with a constant drug concentration whatever the size-fractions. ENDS appear to be highly patient-adaptive.

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