Lactose composite carriers for respiratory delivery

P.M. Young, Philip Kwok, Handoko Adi, Hak-Kim Chan, Daniela Traini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Lactose dry powder inhaler (DPI) carriers, constructed of smaller sub units (composite carriers), were evaluated to assess their potential for minimising drug–carrier adhesion, variability in drug–carrier forces and influence on drug aerosol performance from carrier–drug blends.

Methods: Lactose carrier particles were prepared by fusing sub units of lactose (either 2, 6 or 10 μm) in saturated lactose slurry. The resultant composite particles, as well as supplied lactose, were sieve fractioned to obtain a 63–90 μm carriers. The carriers were evaluated in terms of size (laser diffraction) morphology (electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy), crystallinity and drug adhesion (colloid probe microscopy). In addition, blends containing drug and carrier were prepared and evaluated in terms of drug aerosol performance.

Results: The surface morphology and physico-chemical properties of the composite carriers were significantly different. Depending on the initial primary lactose size, the composite particles could be prepared with different surface roughness. Variation in composite roughness could be related to the change in drug adhesion (via modification in contact geometry) and thus drug aerosol performance from drug–lactose blends.

Conclusion: Composite based carriers are a potential route to control drug–carrier adhesion forces and variability thus allowing more precise control of formulation performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)802-810
Number of pages9
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • colloid probe microscopy
  • DPI composite
  • dry powder inhalation
  • inhalation


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