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