High-speed laser image analysis of plume angles for pressurised metered dose inhalers: the effect of nozzle geometry

The aim of this study is to investigate aerosol plume geometries of pressurised metered dose inhalers (pMDIs) using a high-speed laser image system with different actuator nozzle materials and designs. Actuators made from aluminium, PET and PTFE were manufactured with four different nozzle designs: cone, flat, curved cone and curved flat. Plume angles and spans generated using the designed actuator nozzles with four solution-based pMDI formulations were imaged using Oxford Lasers EnVision system and analysed using EnVision Patternate software. Reduced plume angles for all actuator materials and nozzle designs were observed with pMDI formulations containing drug with high co-solvent concentration (ethanol) due to the reduced vapour pressure. Significantly higher plume angles were observed with the PTFE flat nozzle across all formulations, which could be a result of the nozzle geometry and material’s hydrophobicity. The plume geometry of pMDI aerosols can be influenced by the vapour pressure of the formulation, nozzle geometries and actuator material physiochemical properties.