Aerosolisation behaviour of micronised and supercritically-processed powders

Boris Y. Shekunov, Jane C. Feeley, Albert H.L. Chow, Henry H.Y. Tong, Peter York

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Comparative analysis of salmeterol xinafoate (SX) powders was carried out to define the aerodynamic properties and mechanism of particle dispersion relevant to the use of these materials in dry powder inhalation drug delivery. Particle sizing methodology was evaluated using laser diffraction, time-of-flight and Andersen cascade impactor measurements combined with electron microscopy and surface area determination. Particle interactions, assessed on the basis of powder bulk density and inverse gas chromatography surface energy measurements, were compared with the aerodynamic forces generated by a dry-powder dispersion device. The supercritically produced material showed by a factor of seven reduced tensile strength of the aggregates and indicated a two-fold increase of fine particle fraction deposited in a cascade impactor when blended with lactose. This effect was explained by the reduced particle aggregation at low differential air pressures and flow rates. A relatively small value of aerodynamic stress required to disperse supercritically produced particles in comparison to micronized material comes from: (a) lower bulk density (loose aggregate structure), (b) larger volume mean diameter, (c) larger aerodynamic shape factor and (d) smaller specific free energy of S-SX particles, in this order of priority. It is shown that aggregation between primary drug particles is important for SX/lactose formulations because such aggregates survive the pre-separation impactor stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-568
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aerosol Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Dry powder inhalers
  • Respiratory drug delivery
  • Supercritical fluid crystallization


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