Evaluation of enhanced condensational growth (ECG) for controlled respiratory drug delivery in a mouth-throat and upper tracheobronchial model

Pharm Res. 2010 Sep;27(9):1800-11. doi: 10.1007/s11095-010-0165-z. Epub 2010 May 8.


Purpose: The objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of enhanced condensational growth (ECG), as a novel inhalation drug delivery method, on nano-aerosol deposition in a mouth-throat (MT) and upper tracheobronchial (TB) model using in vitro experiments and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations.

Methods: Separate streams of nebulized nano-aerosols and saturated humidified air (39 degrees C-ECG; 25 degrees C-control) were combined as they were introduced into a realistic MT-TB geometry. Aerosol deposition was determined in the MT, generations G0-G2 (trachea-lobar bronchi) and G3-G5 and compared to CFD simulations.

Results: Using ECG conditions, deposition of 560 and 900 nm aerosols was low in the MT region of the MT-TB model. Aerosol drug deposition in the G0-G2 and G3-G5 regions increased due to enhanced condensational growth compared to control. CFD-predicted depositions were generally in good agreement with the experimental values.

Conclusions: The ECG platform appears to offer an effective method of delivering nano-aerosols through the extrathoracic region, with minimal deposition, to the tracheobronchial airways and beyond. Aerosol deposition is then facilitated as enhanced condensational growth increases particle size. Future studies will investigate the effects of physio-chemical drug properties and realistic inhalation profiles on ECG growth characteristics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aerosols
  • Albuterol / administration & dosage
  • Bronchi / anatomy & histology
  • Bronchi / physiology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Models, Biological*
  • Mouth / anatomy & histology
  • Mouth / physiology*
  • Nanoparticles / administration & dosage
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Particle Size
  • Pharynx / anatomy & histology
  • Pharynx / physiology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Trachea / anatomy & histology
  • Trachea / physiology*


  • Aerosols
  • Albuterol