Development of a novel in vitro system for nasal drug delivery development

  • Jonathan D. Turner

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


There is currently, no ideal system for studying nasal drug delivery in vitro. The
existing techniques such as the Ussing chamber and cell culture all have major
disadvantages. Most importantly, none of the existing techniques accurately
represent the interior of the nasal cavity, with its airflow and humidity; neither do they allow the investigation of solid dosage forms.The work in this thesis represents the development of an in vitro model system in which the interior characteristics of the nasal cavity are closely represented, and solid or minimal volume dosage forms can be investigated.
The complete nasal chamber consists of two sections: a lower tissue, viability chamber and an upper nasal chamber. The lower tissue viability chamber has been shown, using existing tissue viability monitoring techniques, to maintain the viability of a number of epithelial tissues, including porcine and rabbit nasal tissue, and rat ileal and Payers' patch tissue.
The complete chamber including the upper nasal chamber has been shown to provide tissue viability for porcine and rabbit nasal tissue above that available using the existing Ussing chamber techniques.
Adaptation of the complete system, and the development of the necessary experimental protocols that allow aerosol particle-sizing, together with videography, has shown that the new factors investigated, humidity and airflow, have a measurable effect on the delivered dose from a typical nasal pump.
Similarly, adaptation of the chamber to fit under a confocal microscope, and the
development of the necessary protocols has shown the effect of surface and size on the penetration of microparticulate materials into nasal epithelial tissues.
The system developed in this thesis has been shown to be flexible, in allowing the development of the confocal and particle-sizing systems. For future nasal drug delivery studies, the ability to measure such factors as the size of the delivered system in the nasal cavity, the depth of penetration of the formulation into the tissue are essential. Additionally, to have access to other data such as that obtained from drug transport in the same system, and to have the tissue available for histological examination represents a significant advance in the usefulness of such an in vitro technique for nasal delivery.
Date of AwardApr 2000
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBill Irwin (Supervisor) & H.O. Alpar (Supervisor)


  • nasal delivery
  • in vitro models
  • confocal microscopy
  • tissue viability
  • particle-sizing

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