Send to

Choose Destination
Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2014 Aug;75:18-31. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2014.04.004. Epub 2014 Apr 13.

Technological and practical challenges of dry powder inhalers and formulations.

Author information

Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.
Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address:


In the 50 years following the introduction of the first dry powder inhaler to the market, several developments have occurred. Multiple-unit dose and multi-dose devices have been introduced, but first generation capsule inhalers are still widely used for new formulations. Many new particle engineering techniques have been developed and considerable effort has been put in understanding the mechanisms that control particle interaction and powder dispersion during inhalation. Yet, several misconceptions about optimal inhaler performance manage to survive in modern literature. It is, for example still widely believed that a flow rate independent fine particle fraction contributes to an inhalation performance independent therapy, that dry powder inhalers perform best at 4 kPa (or 60 L/min) and that a high resistance device cannot be operated correctly by patients with reduced lung function. Nevertheless, there seems to be a great future for dry powder inhalation. Many new areas of interest for dry powder inhalation are explored and with the assistance of new techniques like computational fluid dynamics and emerging particle engineering technologies, this is likely to result in a new generation of inhaler devices and formulations, that will enable the introduction of new therapies based on inhaled medicines.


Adhesive mixture; Dispersion; Dry powder inhaler; Inhaler design; Pulmonary drug administration; Pulmonary formulation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center