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J Colloid Interface Sci. 2003 Jun 1;262(1):298-302.

Under pressure: predicting pressurized metered dose inhaler interactions using the atomic force microscope.

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  • 1Pharmaceutical Technology Research Group, Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK.


Drug particulate interactions in pressurized metered dose inhalers (pMDI) may lead to a decrease in aerosolization efficiency and subsequent efficacy in patient treatment. The interactions between salbutamol sulfate (commonly used in Ventolin pMDIs) and a series of pMDI canister materials were investigated using the atomic force microscope (AFM) colloid probe technique. Approximately 4000 individual force-distance curves were determined for a drug probe and three surfaces (10 x 10 mum areas) in situ, in a model propellant. The area under each force-distance curve was integrated to obtain separation energy values. Median separation energy values followed the rank order borosilicate glass > aluminum > PTFE, suggesting PTFE to be the most suitable canister coating.

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