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Front Pharmacol. 2016 Jun 24;7:181. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2016.00181. eCollection 2016.

Measurements of Deposition, Lung Surface Area and Lung Fluid for Simulation of Inhaled Compounds.

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Center for Medical Research, Medical University of Graz Graz, Austria.
Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH Graz, Austria.


Modern strategies in drug development employ in silico techniques in the design of compounds as well as estimations of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and toxicity parameters. The quality of the results depends on software algorithm, data library and input data. Compared to simulations of absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity of oral drug compounds, relatively few studies report predictions of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of inhaled substances. For calculation of the drug concentration at the absorption site, the pulmonary epithelium, physiological parameters such as lung surface and distribution volume (lung lining fluid) have to be known. These parameters can only be determined by invasive techniques and by postmortem studies. Very different values have been reported in the literature. This review addresses the state of software programs for simulation of orally inhaled substances and focuses on problems in the determination of particle deposition, lung surface and of lung lining fluid. The different surface areas for deposition and for drug absorption are difficult to include directly into the simulations. As drug levels are influenced by multiple parameters the role of single parameters in the simulations cannot be identified easily.


deposition; in silico modeling; inhalation; lung lining fluid; lung surface area

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