Discrete simulation of powder dispersion in pharmaceutical aerosol inhalers

From Zhenbo Tong


In recent years there has been high commercial interest in the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology to develop dry powder aerosols for drug delivery to the respiratory tract for both local and systemic therapeutic effects. In order to minimize deposition in the mouth and upper airways, and to maximise delivery to the more distal parts of the respiratory tract, fine particles (< 5 µm) are required. Such small particles are usually very cohesive and adhesive, hence difficult to disperse as aerosols. In reality, the proportion of fine particles generated in the aerosol cloud is quite low, leading to an undesirable large variability of dosing.  To improve the aerosol performance, recent development has been focused on powder properties e.g. the use of porous particles, micronised carrier powders, or corrugated particles. However, the aerosol performance depends not only on the powder properties, but also the inhaler device and operation conditions. Much pivotal information can be gained by fundamental research on the aerosol inhalers affecting the dispersion process.


Significance and Innovation

Approach and Methodology

 Application and National Benefits

Economic benefits to Australia: The annual global market for novel drug delivery systems (e.g., inhalation, transdermal) is enormous and is valued at approximately US$100 billion . The market value of pulmonary drug delivery devices has been estimated by the Stanford Research Institute to be in excess of US$9 billion. The world wide sales of asthma drugs alone, based on research from the Morgan Stanley Research in 1996, were US$6.8 billion. Technology trends show long term growth in demand for aerosol drug delivery systems . This is an enabling technology for drug delivery.
Social benefits to Australia: Asthma is Australia’s most widespread chronic health problem – 1 in 4 children, 1 in 7 young people and 1 in 10 adults have asthma. Between 1995 and 1997, the number of deaths from asthma was more than 700 annually. Asthma is treatable. The annual cost to the Australian community is approximately $720 million. Diabetes is another serious health problem facing Australia with 1 in 4 Australians having diabetes or at risk of developing it. Diabetes costs Australia $1.2 billion each year. More effective delivery of medication means better health outcomes at reduced treatment costs for these diseases.

Three web sites that are particularly effective and advantages of these sites:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inhaler

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2. http://www.simpas.unsw.edu.au/simpas/main.htm

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3. http://www.google.com.au/

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Ten (10) ways to improve my website:

1. More consice;

2. Multimedia resources;

3. Add sub-links to explain each aspect of the project;

4. Linking to other website via hyperlinks;

5. Highlight using different fonts and colour;

6. Feature one idea per paragraph

7. Use the objective rather than hyperbolic language

8. Be technically simple as possible,

9. Know more information about audiences

10.Maybe more entertaining