Physicochemical characteristics of chlorofluorohydrocarbon based inhalation aerosols

  • Ian C. Ashurst

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The aim of this work was to gain a better understanding of the physiochemical factors which affect the formulation of suspension inhalation aerosols. This has been attempted by applying the principles of colloid science to aerosol formulation. Both a drug system and a model colloid system have been used. The adsorption of six nonionic and cationic surfactants onto Spherisorb has been investigated. The results were analysed by calculating the area occupied by one adsorbed molecule at the surface and by comparing these values for each surfactant. The amount of each surfactant adsorbed was correlated with the number of sites on that surfactant molecule which could interact with the surface. The stability of suspensions, produced by both the model colloid Spherisorb, and by the drug isoprenaline sulphate, after adsorption of the surfactants, has been assessed by measuring settling times and rising times. The most stable suspensions were found to be those which had the greatest amounts of long chain fatty acid surfactant adsorbed on their surface. A comparison was made between the effective stabilising properties of Span 85 and oleic acid on various drug suspensions. It was found that Span 85 gave the most stable suspensions. Inhalation aerosol suspensions of isoprenaline sulphate were manufactured using the same surfactants used in the adsorption and suspension stability studies and were analysed by measuring the particle size distributions of the suspension and the emitted doses. The results were found to correlate with the adsorption and suspension stability studies and it was concluded that a deflocculated suspension was preferable to a flocculated suspension in inhalation aerosols provided that the drug density was less than the propellant density. The application of this work to preformulation studies was also discussed.
Date of Award1985
Original languageEnglish


  • Physicochemical characteristics
  • chlorofluorohydrocarbon based inhalation aerosols

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