Is the cellular uptake of respiratory aerosols delivered from different devices equivalent?

The study focuses on the application of a cell integrated modified Andersen Cascade Impactor (ACI) as an in vitro lung model for the evaluation of aerosols’ behaviour of different formulation devices, containing the same active drug, specifically nebuliser, pressurised metered dose inhaler (pMDI) and dry powder inhaler (DPI). Deposition and transport profiles of the three different inhaled salbutamol sulphate (SS) formulations with clinically relevant doses were evaluated using a modified ACI coupled with the air interface Calu-3 bronchial cell model. Reproducible amounts of SS were deposited on Snapwells for the different formulations, with no significant difference in SS deposition found between the standard ACI plate and modified plate. The transport of SS aerosols produced from pMDI formulation had similar transport kinetics to nebulised SS but significantly higher compared to the DPI, which could have led to the differences in clinical outcomes. Furthermore, drug absorption of different inhaled formulation devices of the same aerodynamic fraction were found not to be equivalent due to their physical chemical properties upon aerosolisation. This study has established an in vitro platform for the evaluation of the different inhaled formulations in physiologically relevant pulmonary conditions.