Deposition of inhaled particles in the lungs

Arch Bronconeumol. 2012 Jul;48(7):240-6. doi: 10.1016/j.arbres.2012.02.003. Epub 2012 Mar 30.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Inhaled medication is the first-line treatment of diseases such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Its effectiveness is related to the amount of drug deposited beyond the oropharyngeal region, the place where the deposit occurs and its distribution (uniform or not). It is also important to consider the size of the inhaled particles, the breathing conditions, the geometry of the airways and the mucociliary clearance mechanisms. Currently, mathematical models are being applied to describe the deposition of inhaled drugs based on the size of the particles, the inspiratory flow and the anatomical distribution of the bronchial tree. The deposition of particles in the small airways gets maximum attention from pharmaceutical companies and is of great interest as it is related with a better control in patients receiving these drugs.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aerosols
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Dry Powder Inhalers
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Lung / chemistry*
  • Metered Dose Inhalers
  • Particle Size
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / drug therapy
  • Pulmonary Ventilation
  • Respiratory Mucosa / physiology
  • Respiratory System Agents / administration & dosage
  • Respiratory System Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Aerosols
  • Respiratory System Agents