Optimizing the Entrainment Geometry of a Dry Powder Inhaler: Methodology and Preliminary Results

Thomas Kopsch, Darragh Murnane, Digby Symons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: For passive dry powder inhalers (DPIs) entrainment and emission of the aerosolized drug dose depends strongly on device geometry and the patient’s inhalation manoeuvre. We propose a computational method for optimizing the entrainment part of a DPI. The approach assumes that the pulmonary delivery location of aerosol can be determined by the timing of dose emission into the tidal airstream. Methods: An optimization algorithm was used to iteratively perform computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations of the drug emission of a DPI. The algorithm seeks to improve performance by changing the device geometry. Objectives were to achieve drug emission that was: A) independent of inhalation manoeuvre; B) similar to a target profile. The simulations used complete inhalation flow-rate profiles generated dependent on the device resistance. The CFD solver was OpenFOAM with drug/air flow simulated by the Eulerian-Eulerian method. Results: To demonstrate the method, a 2D geometry was optimized for inhalation independence (comparing two breath profiles) and an early-bolus delivery. Entrainment was both shear-driven and gas-assisted. Optimization for a delay in the bolus delivery was not possible with the chosen geometry. Conclusions: Computational optimization of a DPI geometry for most similar drug delivery has been accomplished for an example entrainment geometry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2668-2679
Number of pages12
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number11
Early online date11 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • boundary-condition
  • cost-function
  • DPI
  • entrainment
  • optimization


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