Controlled release in inhalation

  • Tristan P. Learoyd

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Increasingly complicated medication regimens associated with the necessity of the repeated dosing of multiple agents used in treating pulmonary disease has been shown to compromise both disease management and patient convenience. In this study the viability of spray drying to introduce controlled release vectors into dry powders for inhalation was investigated. The first experimental section highlights the use of leucine in producing highly respirable spray dried powders, with in vitro respirable fractions (Fine particle fraction, FPF: F < 5µm) exceeding 80% of the total dose. The second experimental chapter introduces the biocompatible polymer chitosan (mw 190 – 310 kDa) to formulations containing leucine with findings of increased FPF with increasing leucine concentration (up to 82%) and the prolonged release of the active markers terbulataline sulfate (up to 2 hours) and beclometasone dipropionate (BDP: up to 12 hours) with increasing chitosan molecular weight. Next, the thesis details the use of a double emulsion format in delivering the active markers salbutamol sulfate and BDP at differing rates; using the polymers poly-lactide co-glycolide (PLGA 50:50 and PLGA 75:25) and/or chitosan incorporating leucine as an aerosolisation enhancer the duration of in vitro release of both agents reaching 19 days with FPF exceeding 60%. The final experimental chapter involves dual aqueous and organic closed loop spray drying to create controlled release dry powders for inhalation with in vitro sustained release exceeding 28 days and FPF surpassing 55% of total loaded dose. In conclusion, potentially highly respirable sustained release dry powders for inhalation have been produced by this research using the polymers chitosan and/or PLGA as drug release modifiers and leucine as an aerosolisation enhancer.
Date of AwardJun 2007
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorPeter C Seville (Supervisor)


  • dry powder inhaler
  • spray drying
  • leucine
  • chitosan
  • PLGA

Cite this