Respicelltm: An innovative dissolution apparatus for inhaled products

Fabio Sonvico, Veronica Chierici, Giada Varacca, Eride Quarta, Davide D’angelo, Ben Forbes, Francesca Buttini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


To overcome some of the shortfalls of the types of dissolution testing currently used for pulmonary products, a new custom-built dissolution apparatus has been developed. For inhalation products, the main in vitro characterisation required by pharmacopoeias is the deposition of the active pharmaceutical ingredient in an impactor to estimate the dose delivered to the target site, i.e., the lung. Hence, the collection of the respirable dose (<5 µm) also appears to be an essential requirement for the study of the dissolution rate of particles, because it results as being a relevant parameter for the pharmacological action of the powder. In this sense, dissolution studies could become a complementary test to the routine testing of inhaled formulation delivered dose and aerodynamic performance, providing a set of data significant for product quality, efficacy and/or equivalence. In order to achieve the above-mentioned objectives, an innovative dissolution apparatus (RespiCell™) suitable for the dissolution of the respirable fraction of API deposited on the filter of a fast screening impactor (FSI) (but also of the entire formulation if desirable) was designed at the University of Parma and tested. The purpose of the present work was to use the RespiCell dissolution apparatus to compare and discriminate the dissolution behaviour after aerosolisation of various APIs characterised by different physico-chemical properties (hydrophilic/lipophilic) and formulation strategies (excipients, mixing technology).

Original languageEnglish
Article number1541
Issue number10
Early online date23 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Dissolution
  • Dry powder inhaler
  • Pulmonary drug delivery
  • RespiCell
  • Respirable fraction
  • Vertical cell diffu-sion


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