Increasing the fine particle fraction of pressurised metered dose inhaler solutions with novel actuator shapes

Daniel J. Duke, Dung T. Nguyen, Larissa Gomes dos Reis, Dina M. Silva, Adrian Neild, Daniel Edgington-Mitchell, Paul M. Young, Damon R. Honnery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we demonstrate that the use of multiple orifices can improve the fine particle fraction (FPF) of pressurised metered-dose inhaler solution formulations by up to 75% when compared to a single orifice with an equivalent cross sectional area (p < 0.05). While prior work has relied on metal actuator components, improvements in micro injection moulding and micro drilling now make it possible to mass produce novel orifice shapes to achieve similar FPF gains in plastic parts, with orifice diameters less than 0.2 mm. The ability to create internal features inside the actuator is also demonstrated. We show through in vitro high speed imaging that twin orifice sprays merge quickly and act as a single, modified plume. We also show for the first time that FPF and fine particle dose (FPD) are strongly correlated with the distance at which the plume velocity decays to half its initial
value (R2 = 0.997 and 0.95 respectively). When plume velocity & FPF are increased, mouthpiece deposition decreases. This suggests that while smaller orifices produce more fine particles, higher sustained plume velocities also entrain more of the fine particles produced at the periphery of the spray due to increased shear. The effect occurs within the mouthpiece and is thus unlikely to alter the flow field in the upper airway.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120341
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • pMDI
  • Next generation impactor
  • High-speed imaging
  • Fine particle fraction
  • Fine particle dose
  • Solutions


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