The main objective of this project is to develop and test a novel aerosol drug-delivery approach using combination drug-excipient submicrometer particles which may offer high deposition efficiency in the lungs and minimal losses in the mouth-throat region. The hygroscopic behaviour of aerosols has been studied widely, perhaps most extensively by atmospheric physicists and industrial hygienists, who examined the behaviour of pollutants following inhalation. Aerosol growth can be achieved using a method known as excipient enhanced growth (EEG).
The first task of this project will aim at investigating the effects of EEG formulation variables (excipient type, drug-excipient ratio, drug type and aerosol generation device) on the aerosol hygroscopic growth characteristics of combination drug and excipient sub-micrometer aerosols from solution formulations using online particle sizing experiments.
To this direction, a Hygroscopic Tandem Differential Mobility Analyser (HTDMA), designed to measure size-resolved aerosol hygroscopic properties, is currently under installation based on an existed configuration which is going to be improved in order to produce high quality experimental data. At the same time, the installation of an experimental setup based on a Berner cascade impactor has been completed and is ready for the conduction of mass particle sizing experiments on drug aerosols of specific synthesis indicated by our partners in Chiesi Ltd (UK). Reference drugs have already been sent to our lab from our partners.