Sustained delivery by leucine-modified chitosan spray-dried respirable powders

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The controlled co-delivery of multiple agents to the lung offers potential benefits to patients. This study investigated the preparation and characterisation of highly respirable spray-dried powders displaying the sustained release of two chemically distinct therapeutic agents. Spray-dried powders were produced from 30% (v/v) aqueous ethanol formulations that contained hydrophilic (terbutaline sulphate) and hydrophobic (beclometasone dipropionate) model drugs, chitosan (as a drug release modifier) and leucine (aerosolisation enhancer). The influence of chitosan molecular weight on spray-drying thermal efficiency, aerosol performance and drug release profile was investigated. Resultant powders were physically characterised: with in vitro aerosolisation performance and drug release profile investigated by the Multi-Stage Liquid Impinger and modified USP II dissolution apparatus, respectively. It was found that increased chitosan molecular weight gave increased spray-drying thermal efficiency. The powders generated were of a suitable size for inhalation—with emitted doses over 90% and fine particle fractions up to 72% of the loaded dose. Sustained drug release profiles were observed in dissolution tests for both agents: increased chitosan molecular weight associated with increased duration of drug release. The controlled co-delivery of hydrophilic and hydrophobic entities underlines the capability of spray drying to produce respirable particles with sustained release for delivery to the lung. (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2009


  • inhalation
  • leucine
  • modified release
  • spray drying
  • thermal efficiency


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