Factors influencing the in vitro deposition of tobramycin aerosol: a comparison of an ultrasonic nebulizer and a high-frequency vibrating mesh nebulizer

J Aerosol Med. Summer 2006;19(2):175-83. doi: 10.1089/jam.2006.19.175.


The aim of the study was to elaborate recommendations for inhalation during mechanical ventilation that could optimize delivery. Delivery of aerosols in vitro from nebulizers during mechanical ventilation is dependent on the dimensions of the ventilator circuit, the nebulizer type, and the ventilator settings. A review of the literature shows that some ventilator settings have a larger influence on the amount of aerosol delivered than others. It has been shown in an in vitro model that the factors influencing delivered aerosol are the ventilator flow rate, the diameter of the endotracheal tube, and the time spent in inspiration (all p < 0.05). Two different nebulizer types were used in the study: an ultrasonic nebulizer (SUN 345) and a high-frequency vibrating mesh nebulizer (Aeroneb Pro). No difference in the amount delivered was seen with different nebulizer types (p = 0.215). For optimizing the amount delivered, the largest possible flow, endotracheal tube, and time spent in inspiration should be used.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aerosols
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Intubation, Intratracheal
  • Materials Testing
  • Models, Biological
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers*
  • Tobramycin / administration & dosage*
  • Ultrasonics
  • Ventilators, Mechanical
  • Vibration


  • Aerosols
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Tobramycin