The imminent arrival of DDL (Drug Delivery to the Lungs) 22 which will take place in Edinburgh, 7-9 December, brings back mixed memories from last year.

The poster judging panel describing the  technology of the Morphologi G3-ID system as ‘revolutionary’ and awarding us the Industry poster award was a real high point, but the journey up to Scotland was pretty torturous. There is no doubting Edinburgh’s beauty, but extraordinary snow falls last year made reaching it a major challenge, that had our sat. nav. working overtime.

This year I’m hoping the three days of great presentations and world-class debate will come without the bad weather.

A new chapter of research

In the last few months I’ve begun to explore how automated imaging can be used alongside cascade impaction to support the development of inhaled products and I’ll be presenting a poster detailing this work at DDL.

Cascade impaction is the technique used to measure the aerodynamic particle size distribution of the active ingredient of all orally inhaled and nasal drug products (OINDPs) and, usefully for us, it separates a formulation into a series of size fractions. I’ve been taking a look at the size and shape of these fractions using automated imaging.

With a standard impactor experiment the material collected on each stage is analyzed by HPLC to determine the amount of active present. This gives useful compositional data but no information about the morphology or structure of the particles present. With imaging, we can take a look at such properties

New insight into drug dispersion mechanisms

The shape data I gathered suggested that agglomerated material was collecting on the earlier stages, while on the later stages, I found more spherical primary particles. With the Morphologi G3-ID, which combines automated imaging with Raman spectroscopy, we also have chemical identification capability, which will be extremely valuable in extending this work. Size, shape and chemical information for the different fractions of the dose will, in combination, give us new insight into the dispersion mechanisms occurring during drug delivery, and, hopefully, how to improve them.

We’d love to see you at DDL to discuss this exciting new work, or any other topic of mutual interest – it certainly is one of the best opportunities around for debate about OINDPs and I’m looking forward to it.