Non-intrusive high resolution in-vitro measurement of regional drug powder deposition

Taye Mekonnen, Shaokoon Cheng, Agisilaos Kourmatzis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution and non-invasive cross-sectional imaging technique mainly used for medical imaging and industrial non-destructive testing. However, its feasibility in the quantification of pulmonary drug deposition has not been investigated. In this study, an optically accessible airway model of the upper airway and the tracheobronchial tree was used, and experiments were performed at flow rates of 40 L/min, 60 L/min and 80 L/min. Drug deposition in different regions of the airway cast has been determined and quantified from OCT images of the deposition layer. Regionally resolved measurement of deposition shows that flow rate has a significant effect (p = 0.04) on the average thickness of the deposition layer in the upper airway but not in the tracheobronchial tree under these test conditions. These localized and high-resolution measurements of deposition also demonstrate that the flow rate can influence the spatial uniformity of the deposition layer. The technique is able to provide significant regional drug deposition details, including the thickness, spatial deposition pattern and micro-cavities in the deposition layer, that would potentially serve to assess the efficacy of inhalation drug delivery systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119286
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2020


  • Deposition profile
  • Drug deposition
  • Non-intrusive measurement
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Realistic airway


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