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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Discrete Modelling of Powder Dispersion in Dry Powder Inhalers - A Brief Review

Author(s): Zhenbo Tong, Aibing Yu, Hak-Kim Chan and Runyu Yang

Volume 21, Issue 27, 2015

Page: [3966 - 3973] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/1381612821666150820110958

Price: $65


The performance of a dry powder inhaler (DPI) depends on powder properties as well as the air and particle flows in the device. The main principle of powder dispersion is to overcome the inter-particle cohesion using various dispersion/ de-agglomeration forces. While different dispersion mechanisms have been identified, their relative importance under different conditions is less clear. The lack of understanding of these mechanisms is a major obstacle to the advance of pharmaceutical powder aerosol technology. This paper briefly reviews our recent effort in developing a combined computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and discrete element method (DEM) approach to gain such pivotal information. Dispersions under various specifically designed conditions were simulated to exam the role of individual dispersion mechanism. The air and particle flows were analysed at the particle scale and linked to dispersion performance characterised by fine particle fraction (FPF). In addition, the dispersion mechanisms of both drug only and carrier based formulations in a commercial inhaler were studied. Our work shows that the approach has the potential to develop a theoretical framework for designing new DPIs.

Keywords: Dry powder inhaler, particle scale modelling, discrete element method, computational fluid dynamics, powder dispersion.

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