Dry powder inhaler performance of spray dried mannitol with tailored surface morphologies as carrier and salbutamol sulphate

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Nowadays, dry powder inhalation as applied in the therapy of pulmonary diseases is known as a very effective route of drug delivery to the lungs. Here, the system of coarse carrier and fine drug particles attached to the carrier surface has successfully been applied to overcome the cohesiveness of small drug particles. Particle properties of both carrier and drug are known to affect drug dispersion as has widely been discussed for lactose monohydrate and various drugs. This study utilises particle-engineered mannitol as an alternative carrier to discover the effect of mannitol carrier particle properties like particle shape, surface roughness, flowability or particle size on aerodynamic performance during inhalation. Spray drying as a technique to accurately control those properties was chosen for the generation of carrier sizes between 50 and 80 μm and different morphologies and therefore various carrier flowabilities. A set of these carriers has then been blended with different spray dried and jet-milled qualities of salbutamol sulphate as model drug to examine the influence of carrier particle properties on aerodynamic behaviour and at the same time to cover the effect of drug particle properties on particle–particle interactions. This experimental setup allowed a general view on how drug and carrier properties affect the Fine Particle Fraction (FPF) as indicator for inhalation performance and gave the first study to distinguish between mannitol carrier particle shape and surface roughness. Further it was possible to relate carrier particle size and shape to drug accumulation and detachment mechanisms during inhalation as size and shape had the main influence on drug detachment. The addition of jet-milled mannitol fines provided an initial insight into the improving effect of ternary powder blends as has been intensively studied for lactose monohydrate but not for mannitol yet.

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