Particle Engineering

Since the early 1990s, the notion of producing particles of a specific size, density, and morphology has evolved, and it has the potential to lead to significant advances in pulmonary drug delivery [4]. Typically, particles for use by inhalation would be produced by a milling (micronization) process that would result in a batch of material with a size range between 1.0 and 3.0 microns (necessary for inhalation). Scientists have realized that there may be more elegant techniques available for the production of small particles, including supercritical fluid recrystallization, spray-drying, or controlled precipitation, in which size control could be achieved and other desirable properties (e.g., extended release of the drug) may be realized [5]. There are a number of companies that have developed specialist processes to manufacture these types of particles (e.g., Alkermes; Eiffel; Nektar Therapeutics). These methods now provide formulators with the capability to have small quantities of material in a defined particle size readily available.

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