Hello. My name is Anne Virden and I am ‘Product Technical Specialist Diffraction’ at Malvern Instruments.

Laser  diffraction is a key analytical tool in the development of inhaled pharmaceuticals, so I am really looking forward to attending this year’s Drug Delivery to the Lungs (DDL) 2010 conference and exhibition, where I’ll be working alongside imaging colleagues from Malvern.  As was clear from presentations at last year’s conference, and we’ll see again with our paper in 2010, laser diffraction and analytical imaging are proving a powerful combination for the inhalation scientist. DDL brings together the movers and shakers in the inhalation community and, as always, is being held in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. This  year it runs from Wednesday 8th – Friday 10th December.

Last year…

In 2009, Malvern specialists presented  the results of collaborative work with the Helsinki University of Technology highlighting the use of laser diffraction particle size analysis and morphological imaging in dry powder inhaler development, Spraytec and Morphologi G3 systems respectively. Researchers used the techniques in combination to assess the performance of coated powders in ‘carrier-free’ dry powder inhaler (DPI) formulations.  Download an article based on this work.

Finding the X factor in drug delivery

But what about this year?

I hope you’ll come along and see our poster presentation examining  how automated image analysis and laser diffraction can be used together for characterising nasal spray formulations. On the one hand laser diffraction offers the ability to monitor changes in the delivered droplet size, and allows investigation of the robustness of the delivery system. On the other, automated image analysis means you can detect subtle changes in the API size distribution brought about by the spray process, something that potentially affects bioavailability.

There are some other notable mentions in the 2010 programme I must say! The final topic: ‘What on earth? Bizarre and quirky science relevant to inhalation therapy’ has me intrigued! On Monday,  Victoria Lord, Specialist Physiotherapist, Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, is giving a presentation under this very heading on the effects of singing lessons in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Eat your heart out Simon Cowell! This sounds like a wonderfully uplifting therapy and I hope very much that Victoria’s study has come back with positive results.

As for Tuesdays ‘What on Earth?’ presentation by Mark Sanders, www.Inhalatorium.com, UK,  the title alone leaves me blushing: “ Pioneers of Inhalation II; French kisses and steamy salons!” Who could resist? Not so much X Factor as XXX factor!

Until then…

I look forward to meeting you all at this important industry event and, for those of you unable to make it, look out  for my next blog!