Application of an inline dry powder inhaler to deliver high dose pharmaceutical aerosols during low flow nasal cannula therapy

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Inline dry powder inhalers (DPIs) offer a potentially effective option to deliver high dose inhaled medications simultaneously with mechanical ventilation. The objective of this study was to develop an inline DPI that is actuated using a low volume of air (LV-DPI) to efficiently deliver pharmaceutical aerosols during low flow nasal cannula (LFNC) therapy. A characteristic feature of the new inline LV-DPIs was the use of hollow capillary tubes that both pierced the capsule and provided a pathway for inlet air and exiting aerosol. Aerosolization characteristics, LFNC depositional losses and emitted dose (ED) were determined using 10 mg powder masses of a small-particle excipient enhanced growth (EEG) formulation. While increasing the number of inlet capillaries from one to three did not improve performance, retracting the inlet and outlet capillaries did improve ED by over 30%. It was theorized that high quality performance requires both high turbulent energy to deaggregate the powder and high wall shear stresses to minimize capsule retention. Best case performance included a device ED of approximately 85% (of loaded dose) and device emitted mass median aerodynamic diameter of 1.77 μm. Maximum ED through the LFNC system and small diameter (4 mm) nasal cannula was approximately 65% of the loaded dose. Potential applications of this device include the delivery of high dose inhaled medications such as surfactants, antibiotics, mucolytics, and anti-inflammatories.

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