Effect of device design on the in vitro performance and comparability for capsule-based dry powder inhalers

Jagdeep Shur, Sau Lee, Wallace Adams, Robert Lionberger, James Tibbatts, Robert Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (SciVal)


This study investigated the effect of modifying the design of the Cyclohaler on its aerosolization performance and comparability to the HandiHaler at multiple flow rates. The Cyclohaler and HandiHaler were designated as model test and reference unit-dose, capsule-based dry powder inhalers (DPIs), respectively. The flow field, pressure drop, and carrier particle trajectories within the Cyclohaler and HandiHaler were modeled via computational fluid dynamics (CFD). With the goal of achieving in vitro comparability to the HandiHaler, the CFD results were used to identify key device attributes and to design two modifications of the Cyclohaler (Mod 1 and Mod 2), which matched the specific resistance of the HandiHaler but exhibited different cyclonic flow conditions in the device. Aerosolization performance of the four DPI devices was evaluated by using the reference product's capsule and formulation (Spiriva capsule) and a multistage cascade impactor. The in vitro data showed that Mod 2 provided a closer match to the HandiHaler than the Cyclohaler and Mod 1 at 20, 39, and 55 l/min. The in vitro and CFD results together suggest that matching the resistance of test and reference DPI devices is not sufficient to attain comparable aerosolization performance, and the improved in vitro comparability of Mod 2 to the HandiHaler may be related to the greater degree of similarities of the flow rate of air through the pierced capsule (Qc) and the maximum impact velocity of representative carrier particles (Vn) in the Cyclohaler-based device. This investigation illustrates the importance of enhanced product understanding, in this case through the CFD modeling and in vitro characterization of aerosolization performance, to enable identification and modification of key design features of a test DPI device for achieving comparable aerosolization performance to the reference DPI device.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-676
Number of pages10
JournalAAPS Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of device design on the in vitro performance and comparability for capsule-based dry powder inhalers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this