Electrostatic Precipitation

At the generation stage, significant electrostatic charges are often imparted to the droplets and particles of an aerosol. These electric charges are subsequently reduced by partial neutralization with ions from the surrounding gas, until an equilibrium charge distribution is reached. In principle, a charged particle can induce a charge of opposite sign in the walls of airways and then becomes electrostatically attracted to it. This can enhance the deposition of highly charged aerosols by electrostatic precipitation, but, at present, there is very little evidence that such a mechanism can increase significantly the deposition and targeting of therapeutic aerosols in the human respiratory tract.

The Patient Factors

The patient factors enter into play in several ways. The effectiveness of all aerosol delivery systems depends to some extent on the ability of the patients to use them properly. This has been shown for different types of inhalation systems, such as metered-dose inhalers [28,29] and the breath-driven powder generators [15,30]. The second determinant is the state of the patient's airways. These effects are discussed in greater detail in the following section.

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