Spray drying of budesonide, formoterol fumarate and their composites—II. Statistical factorial design andin vitrodeposition properties

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The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of changing spray drying parameters on the production of a budesonide/formoterol fumarate 100:6 (w/w) composite. The systems were spray dried as solutions from 95% ethanol/5% water (v/v) using a Büchi 191-Mini Spray Dryer. A 25−1 factorial design study was undertaken to assess the consequence of altering spray drying processing variables on particle characteristics. The processing parameters that were studied were inlet temperature, spray drier airflow rate, pump rate, aspirator setting and feed concentration. Each batch of the resulting powder was characterised in terms of thermal and micromeritic properties as well as an in vitro deposition by twin impinger analysis. Overall, the parameter that had the greatest influence on each response investigated was production yield – airflow (higher airflow giving greater yields), median particle size – airflow (higher airflow giving smaller particle sizes) and Carr's compressibility index – feed concentration (lower feed concentration giving smaller Carr's indices). A six- to seven-fold difference in respirable fraction can be observed by changing the spray drying process parameters. The co-spray dried composite system which displayed best in vitro deposition characteristics, showed a 2.6-fold increase in respirable fraction in the twin impinger experiments and better dose uniformity compared with the physical mix of micronised powders.

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