Engineering microparticles through controlled atomization in pharmaceutical sprays


Engineered microparticles o ffer novel  therapeutic approaches not possible with traditional drug particles. To achiege the fine control needed to engineer microparticles though, better understanding of the spray, cavitation and atomization processes are required. If we can determine the fluid parameters that dictate particle size and physico-chemistry, we can produce a new range of tailor-made medical particles for treating pulmonary disorders.


Why it matters:

Pulmonary disease affects millions of Australians, and while great advances in treatment have been made, there is still a long way to go. Many pulmonary diseases can be treated most efficaciously if we combine multiple therapeutic agents into a single particle. Doing this while carefully controlling size and aerodynamic properties is currently extremely difficult. This collaborative project between engineers and pharmaceutical sciences aims to provide the necessary physical understanding to produce better treatments.


Outcomes so far:

We have applied a number of novel visible light and synchrotron based measurement techniques to asthma puffers, working with Dr. Daniel Duke at Argonne National Laboratories. See our papers in Pharmaceutical Research using schlieren, x-ray radiography and x-ray fluorescence to study medical inhalers, as well as our papers in the Australian Laser Diagnostics Conference the the Turbulent Shear Flow Symposium using lasers and backlit spray imaging.