Understanding the influence of powder flowability, fluidization and de-agglomeration characteristics on the aerosolization of pharmaceutical model powders

Qi Zhou, B Armstrong, Ian Larson, Peter Stewart, David Morton

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74 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the intrinsic inter-particulate cohesion of model pharmaceutical powders on their aerosolization from a dry powder inhaler. Two cohesive poly-disperse lactose powders with median particle sizes of around 4 and 20 I?m were examined. The results showed that after dry coating with magnesium stearate, their flowability, fluidization and de-agglomeration behaviours could be substantially improved, as indicated by powder rheometry, shear testing and laser diffraction aerosol testing. This was achieved by reducing their cohesiveness via surface modification. In contrast to some previous reports, this study demonstrated how powder aerosolization may be improved more significantly and consistently (for widely varying air flow rates) by substantially reducing their inter-particulate cohesive forces. This study contributes to the understanding of the relationship between intrinsic cohesive nature and bulk properties such as flowability, fluidization and de-agglomeration and its impact on their aerosolization, which is fundamental and critical in the optimal design of dry powder inhaler formulations. The intensive mechanical dry coating technique also demonstrated a promising potential to improve aerosolization efficiency of fine cohesive model powders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412 - 421
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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