Performance indicators for carrier-based DPIs: Carrier surface properties for capsule filling and API properties for in vitro aerosolisation

Amrit Paudel*, Eva Faulhammer, Sarah Zellnitz, Thomas Karl Wutscher, Sandra Stranzinger, Anna Zimmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates engineered carrier, as well as engineered API particles, and shows that there are distinct performance indicators of particle engineering for carrier-based dry powder inhalers (DPIs). Spray dried (SDSS) and jet-milled (JMSS) salbutamol sulphate (SS) was blended with untreated α-lactose monohydrate (LAC_R) and α-lactose monohydrate engineered (LAC_E). Subsequent capsule filling was performed with different process settings on a dosator nozzle capsule filling machine in order to reach a target fill weight of 20–25 mg. To evaluate the performance of the different mixtures, in vitro lung deposition experiments were carried out with a next generation impactor, the emitted dose (ED) and fine particle fraction (FPF) were calculated based on the specification of the European pharmacopoeia. The FPF of micronised powder blends is significantly higher (20%) compared to the FPF of spray dried blends (5%). Compared to API engineering, carrier engineering had a positive effect on the capsule filling performance (weight variability and mean fill weight) at lower compression ratios (setting 1). Results further showed that higher compression ratios appear to be beneficial in terms of capsule filling performance (higher fill weight and less fill weight variation). Concluding, it can be stated that the carrier engineering, or generally carrier properties, govern downstream processing, whereas the API engineering and API properties govern the aerosolisation performance and thereby significantly affect the dose delivery to the lungs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-335
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2018


  • salbutamol sulphate
  • Surface modification
  • Particle engineering
  • Capsule filling
  • dry powder inhalation


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