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Int J Pharm. 2002 Jan 31;232(1-2):213-24.

Dry powder inhaler: influence of humidity on topology and adhesion studied by AFM.

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  • 1Pharmacy Division L.P.G., U.F.R. Pharmacy, University of Bourgogne, F-21079, Dijon, France.


In the dry powder inhalers (DPIs), the adhesion results of the interactions between the active substance and the excipient. The carrier and the micronized drug particle morphologies are believed to affect the delivery of the drug. In this work, the couple studied was the lactose monohydrate and micronized zanamivir, used for the treatment of influenza. In a first approach, observations by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) have shown that the relative humidity (RH) greatly influenced the zanamivir amount fixed on the lactose monohydrate surface. This paper deals with the direct measurement in controlled atmosphere by atomic force microscopy (AFM) of the forces and the interaction ranges between a zanamivir probe and a lactose substrate. Selected zanamivir crystals were attached to the standard AFM probe. Different RH have been used in order to determine influent parameters permitting to identify the nature of adhesion forces between them. This study demonstrated that the increase of RH modified progressively the surface topology of the two components and increased the adhesion force.

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