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Aerosols in the Health Care Field


:: Section 2

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Aerosol Drug Delivery System (Overview)

Effective aerosol therapy requires a device that quickly delivers sufficient drug to the desired site of action with minimal waste and at a low cost. Aerosol generators commonly used in clinical applications include Metered-Dose Inhalers (MDIs), Dry Powder Inhalers (DPIs), jet nebulizers (small- and large-volume, SVN and LVN), ultrasonic nebulizers (USNs), and hand-bulb atomizers (including nasal spray pumps). In this section, we will have an overview of aerosol drug delivery before getting into details of each device in the following sections. First, let's start by defining a few terms for inhaled therapeutic aerosols:

  • Stability: Describes the tendency of aerosol particles to remain in suspension rather than to decompose before reaching the target.
  • Penetration: Refers to the depth within the lung reached by particles.
  • Deposition: Refers to the process of particles depositing out of suspension to remain in the lung.
  1. What are the possible reasons for a drug particle to become unstable?
  2. Is it desired to have deep penetration for all types of medicine? Why or why not?