In silico modeling of asthma

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2003 Jul 18;55(7):829-49. doi: 10.1016/s0169-409x(03)00080-2.


The incidence of asthma is increasing throughout the world, especially among children, to the extent that it has become a medical issue of serious global concern. Appropriately, numerous pharmacologic drugs and clinical protocols for the treatment and prophylaxis of the disease have been reported. From a scientific perspective, a review of the literature suggests that the targeted delivery of an aerosol would, in a real sense, enhance the efficacy of an inhaled medicine. Therefore, in accordance with published data we have developed a mathematical description of disease-induced effects of disease on airway morphology. A morphological algorithm defining the heterogeneity of asthma has been integrated with a computer code that formulates the behavior and fate of inhaled drugs. In this work, predicted drug particle deposition patterns have been compared with SPECT images from experiments with healthy human subjects (controls) and asthmatic patients. The asthma drug delivery model simulations agree with observations from human testing. The results indicate that in silico modeling provides a technical foundation for addressing effects of disease on the administration of aerosolized drugs, and suggest that modeling should be used in a complementary manner with future inhalation therapy protocols.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aerosols
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Asthma* / drug therapy
  • Asthma* / pathology
  • Asthma* / physiopathology
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Models, Biological*
  • Particle Size
  • Respiration
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon


  • Aerosols
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents