In-vitro and particle image velocimetry studies of dry powder inhalers

Larissa Gomes dos Reis, Vishal Chaugule, David F. Fletcher, Paul M. Young, Daniela Traini, Julio Soria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Inhalation drug delivery has seen a swift rise in the use of dry powder inhalers (DPIs) to treat chronic respiratory conditions. However, universal adoption of DPIs has been restrained due to their low efficiencies and significant drug losses in the mouth-throat region. Aerosol efficiency of DPIs is closely related to the fluid-dynamics characteristics of the inhalation flow generated from the devices, which in turn are influenced by the device design. In-vitro and particle image velocimetry (PIV) have been used in this study to assess the aerosol performance of a model carrier formulation delivered by DPI devices and to investigate their flow characteristics. Four DPI device models, with modification to their tangential inlets and addition of a grid, have been explored. Similar aerosol performances were observed for all four device models, with FPF larger than 50%, indicating desirable lung deposition. A high swirling and recirculating jet-flow emerging from the mouthpiece of the DPI models without the grid was observed, which contributed to particle deposition in the throat. DPI models where the grid was present showed a straightened outflow without undesired lateral spreading, that reduced particle deposition in the throat and mass retention in the device. These findings demonstrate that PIV measurements strengthen in-vitro evaluation and can be jointly used to develop high-performance DPIs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number119966
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerosol performance
  • Flow straightener
  • Grid
  • Device
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Tangential inlets
  • Axial
  • Radial velocities


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