Advanced drug delivery reviews

Lactose characteristics and the generation of the aerosol.

PMID 21616107


The delivery efficiency of dry-powder products for inhalation is dependent upon the drug formulation, the inhaler device, and the inhalation technique. Dry powder formulations are generally produced by mixing the micronised drug particles with larger carrier particles. These carrier particles are commonly lactose. The aerosol performance of a powder is highly dependent on the lactose characteristics, such as particle size distribution and shape and surface properties. Because lactose is the main component in these formulations, its selection is a crucial determinant of drug deposition into the lung, as interparticle forces may be affected by the carrier-particle properties. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to review the various grades of lactose, their production, and the methods of their characterisation. The origin of their adhesive and cohesive forces and their influence on aerosol generation are described, and the impact of the physicochemical properties of lactose on carrier-drug dispersion is discussed in detail.