Towards the bioequivalence of pressurised metered dose inhalers 2. Aerodynamically equivalent particles (with and without glycerol) exhibit different biopharmaceutical profiles in vitro

M. Haghi, M. Bebawy, P. Colombo, B. Forbes, D. A. Lewis, R. Salama, D. Traini, P. M. Young*

*Corresponding author for this work

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Two solution-based pressurised metered dose inhaler (pMDI) formulations were prepared such that they delivered aerosols with identical mass median aerodynamic diameters, but contained either beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) alone (glycerol-free formulation) or BDP and glycerol in a 1:1 mass ratio (glycerol-containing formulation). The two formulations were deposited onto Calu-3 respiratory epithelial cell layers cultured at an air interface. Equivalent drug mass (∼1000 ng or ∼2000 ng of the formulation) or equivalent particle number (1000 ng of BDP in the glycerol-containing versus 2000 ng of BDP in the glycerol-free formulation) were deposited as aerosolised particles on the air interfaced surface of the cell layers. The transfer rate of BDP across the cell layer after deposition of the glycerol-free particles was proportional to the mass deposited. In comparison, the transfer of BDP from the glycerol-containing formulation was independent of the mass deposited, suggesting that the release of BDP is modified in the presence of glycerol. The rate of BDP transfer (and the extent of metabolism) over 2 h was faster when delivered in glycerol-free particles, 465.01 ng ± 95.12 ng of the total drug (20.99 ± 4.29%; BDP plus active metabolite) transported across the cell layer, compared to 116.17 ng ± 3.07 ng (6.07 ± 0.16%) when the equivalent mass of BDP was deposited in glycerol-containing particles. These observations suggest that the presence of glycerol in the maturated aerosol particles may influence the disposition of BDP in the lungs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Beclomethasone dipropionate
  • Bioequivalence
  • Calu-3
  • Epithelial cell model
  • Glycerol
  • Non-volatile excipients
  • pMDI

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