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Dry Powder Inhalers - The Best Alternative Drug Delivery Method?

Delivering drugs directly to the lungs has long been known to have particular benefits for treating pulmonary conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). By delivering drugs straight to the diseased tissues it is possible to improve the effectiveness of the treatment whilst minimising the drug side effects. Recently, efforts have been made to use the pulmonary drug delivery route to treat a wider range of conditions, including non-pulmonary conditions such as diabetes. However, despite the fact that the average human breathes 25 times every minute, successfully delivering repeatable levels of drug deep into the lungs is a significant challenge.

For a drug particle to have a reasonable chance of being inhaled it needs to have an aerodynamic diameter smaller than five microns and it needs to be inhaled by the patient at the start of their inhalation. Larger particles will end up remaining in the patient's mouth or on the back of their throat, and particles inhaled at the end of the patient's inhalation stroke will remain in the entrance to the lungs or will be exhaled.


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By Jon Tuckwell, Head of Drug Delivery at Cambridge Consultants

Jon Tuckwell is Head of the drug delivery business at Cambridge Consultants. Jon's experience includes working on a wide variety of drug delivery devices including needleless injectors, micro-infusion pumps and five pulmonary inhalers. In the last year Jon has led teams of engineers and scientists to develop two novel MDI technologies designed to overcome the common challenges with pMDIs. Jon has a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cambridge University.

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Jon Tuckwell
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