The development of a single-use, capsule-free multi-breath tobramycin dry powder inhaler for the treatment of cystic fibrosis

Bing Zhu, Matteo Padroni, Gaia Colombo, Gary Phillips, John Crapper, Paul M. Young*, Daniela Traini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The aerosol performance and delivery characteristics of tobramycin for the treatment of respiratory infection were evaluated using the Orbital™, a multi-breath, high dose, dry powder inhaler (DPI). Micronised tobramycin was prepared and tested in the Orbital and in the commercially available TOBI Podhaler (Novartis AG). Furthermore, the TOBI Podhaler formulation containing tobramycin as Pulmospheres was tested in both the commercial Podhaler device (T-326) and Orbital for comparison. By varying the puck geometry of the Orbital, it was possible to deliver equivalent doses of micronised tobramycin (114.09 ± 5.86 mg) to that of the Podhaler Pulmosphere product (116.01 ± 2.59 mg) over 4 sequential simulated breaths (60 L min−1 for 4 s) without the need for multiple capsules. In general, the aerosol performance of the micronised tobramycin from the Orbital was higher than the T-326 Podhaler device, with fine particle fraction (FPF) of 44.99% ± 1.09% and 37.03% ± 0.86%, respectively. When testing the Pulmosphere powder in the two devices, the T-326 had marginally better performance with a FPF of 68.77% ± 2.10% compared to 61.30% ± 3.45%. This is to be expected since the TOBI Podhaler and Pulmosphere are an optimised powder and device combination. The Orbital was shown to be capable of delivering high efficiency, high dose antibiotic therapy for inhalation without the need for the use of multiple capsules as used in current devices. This approach may pave the way for a number of antibiotic therapies and medicaments where high dose respiratory deposition is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-398
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Crystalline
  • High dose dry powder inhaler
  • Orbital
  • Tobramycin


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