This study investigated the structural relaxation of micronized fluticasone propionate (FP) under different lagering conditions and its influence on aerodynamic particle size distribution (APSD) of binary and tertiary carrier-based dry powder inhaler (DPI) formulations. Micronized FP was lagered under low humidity (LH 25 C, 33% RH [relative humidity]), high humidity (HH 25°C, 75% RH) for 30, 60, and 90 days, respectively, and high temperature (HT 60°C, 44% RH) for 14 days. Physicochemical, surface interfacial properties via cohesive-adhesive balance (CAB) measurements and amorphous disorder levels of the FP samples were characterized. Particle size, surface area, and rugosity suggested minimal morphological changes of the lagered FP samples, with the exception of the 90-day HH (HH90) sample. HH90 FP samples appeared to undergo surface reconstruction with a reduction in surface rugosity. LH and HH lagering reduced the levels of amorphous content over 90-day exposure, which influenced the CAB measurements with lactose monohydrate and salmeterol xinafoate (SX). CAB analysis suggested that LH and HH lagering led to different interfacial interactions with lactose monohydrate but an increasing adhesive affinity with SX. HT lagering led to no detectable levels of the amorphous disorder, resulting in an increase in the adhesive interaction with lactose monohydrate. APSD analysis suggested that the fine particle mass of FP and SX was affected by the lagering of the FP. In conclusion, environmental conditions during the lagering of FP may have a profound effect on physicochemical and interfacial properties as well as product performance of binary and tertiary carrier-based DPI formulations.
- cohesive-adhesive balance
- mechanical activation
- particle adhesion
- process-induced structural disorder