Dry powder inhalers (DPIs)--a review of device reliability and innovation

Int J Pharm. 2008 Aug 6;360(1-2):1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2008.04.044. Epub 2008 May 9.


A wide range of dry powder inhaler (DPI) devices are currently available on the market to deliver drugs into lungs with a view to maximise drug delivery with low variability. DPIs also face numerous clinical challenges, particularly related to variable patient factors such as age, clinical condition and inspiratory flow. Due to the drug formulation and the design of devices, different DPIs do not show the same performance and manufacturers are taking a variety of device design approaches. The characteristics of an ideal DPI, recent innovations in powder formulation and device design are not universally reliable in terms of dose variability, clinical efficacy, user friendliness and economy. This mini review examines whether device reliability is more important than innovation. This study enables a comparison of the relative merits of optimising existing DPIs or seeking to develop novel devices.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Animals
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers*
  • Powders / administration & dosage*


  • Powders