Particle engineering approaches to control the interaction of medicinal aerosols with the lung environment following inhalation 


Theme: Aerosols and Health

Start date: Cohort 1: 2019

Supervisors: Prof Darragh Murnane (Hertfordshire) and Prof Jonathan Reid (Bristol)


Aerosol therapeutics are widely used in the treatment of respiratory and systemic disease. As such, significant research has gone into how the active pharmaceutical ingredient and delivery device affect particle deposition and patient outcomes. However, there remains limited research on the dependency of water vapour interactions, in the respiratory system, on specific, physicochemical aerosol properties. Consequently, their influence on hygroscopic growth, dissolution and agglomeration within the lung environment is often overlooked. This article focuses on the delivery of solid drug particles by dry powder inhalers and reviews some of the particle properties that may underpin aerosol dynamics in the humidity of the respiratory system. Furthermore, in response, a novel way to produce monodisperse model particles with distinct characteristics and properties using microfluidic crystallisation techniques is presented. The subsequent investigation of the model particles will allow for the determination of the extent of impact that micromeritic properties, such as size, surface area and crystallinity, have on the interaction of solid drug particles with moisture in the human lung. In doing so, it will enhance the understanding of the fundamental, underlying principles of aerosol dynamics in the respiratory system and contribute to the potential for optimisation of aerosol drug delivery techniques.