Chitosan-based spray-dried respirable powders for sustained delivery of terbutaline sulfate

Tristan P. Learoyd, Jane L. Burrows, Eddie French, Peter C. Seville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we describe the preparation of highly dispersible dry powders for pulmonary drug delivery that display sustained drug release characteristics. Powders were prepared by spray-drying 30% v/v aqueous ethanol formulations containing terbutaline sulfate as a model drug, chitosan as a drug release modifier and leucine as an aerosolisation enhancer. The influence of chitosan molecular weight on the drug release profile was investigated by using low, medium and high molecular weight chitosan or combinations thereof. Following spray-drying, resultant powders were characterised using scanning electron microscopy, laser diffraction, tapped density analysis, differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravitational analysis. The in vitro aerosolisation performance and drug release profile were investigated using Multi-Stage Liquid Impinger analysis and modified USP II dissolution apparatus, respectively. The powders generated were of a suitable aerodynamic size for inhalation, had low moisture content and were amorphous in nature. The powders were highly dispersible, with emitted doses of over 90% and fine particle fractions of up to 82% of the total loaded dose, and mass median aerodynamic diameters of less than 2.5microm. A sustained drug release profile was observed during dissolution testing; increasing the molecular weight of the chitosan in the formulation increased the duration of drug release. (c)2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-234
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


  • spray-drying
  • leucine
  • modified release
  • inhalation
  • aerosolisation
  • chitosan


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