In Vitro Assessment of Spray Deposition Patterns in a Pediatric (12 Year-Old) Nasal Cavity Model

  • Namita Sawant
  • Maureen D. Donovan
Research Paper



Nasal sprays available for the treatment of cold and allergy symptoms currently use identical formulations and devices for adults as well as for children. Due to the obvious differences between the nasal airway dimensions of a child and those of an adult, the performance of nasal sprays in children was evaluated.


Deposition patterns of nasal sprays administered to children were tested using a nasal cast based on MRI images obtained from a 12 year old child’s nasal cavity. Test formulations emitting a range of spray patterns were investigated by actuating the device into the pediatric nasal cast under controlled conditions.


The results showed that the nasal sprays impacted in the anterior region of the 12 year old child’s nasal cavity, and only limited spray entered the turbinate region – the effect site for most topical drugs and the primary absorptive region for systemically absorbed drugs.


Differences in deposition patterns following the administration of nasal sprays to adults and children may lead to differences in efficacy between these populations. Greater anterior deposition in children may result in decreased effectiveness, greater anterior dosage form loss, and the increased potential for patient non-compliance.

Key Words

anterior deposition nasal cast nasal spray pediatrics plume angle 



This study was funded by an FDA Grant to the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology and Education (NIPTE) titled "The Critical Path Manufacturing Sector Research Initiative (U01)"; Grant# 5U01FD004275.

The results and conclusions presented reflect the opinions of the authors and not those of the funding agencies.


  1. 1.
    Foo MY, Cheng YS, Su WC, Donovan MD. The influence of spray properties on intranasal deposition. J Aerosol Med. 2007;20(4):495–508.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kundoor V, Dalby RN. Effect of formulation and administration related variables on deposition pattern of nasal spray pumps evaluated using a nasal cast. Pharm Res. 2011;28(8):1895–904.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dayal P, Shaik MS, Singh M. Evaluation of different parameters that affect droplet-size distribution from nasal sprays using the Malvern Spraytec. J Pharm Sci. 2004;93(7):1725–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cheng Y, Holmes T, Gao J, Guilmette R, Li S, Surakitbanharn Y, et al. Characterization of nasal spray pumps and deposition pattern in a replica of the human nasal airway. J Aerosol Med. 2001;14(2):267–80.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Arora P, Sharma S, Garg S. Permeability issues in nasal drug delivery. Drug Discov Today. 2002;7(18):967–75.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kesavanathan J, Bascom R, Swift DL. The effect of nasal passage characteristics on particle deposition. J Aerosol Med. 1998;11(1):27–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Howard BK, Rohrich RJ. Understanding the nasal airway: principles and practice. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2002;109(3):1128–46.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Djupesland PG. Nasal drug delivery devices: characteristics and performance in a clinical perspective-a review. Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2013;3(1):42–62.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Xi J, Si X, Kim JW, Berlinski A. Simulation of airflow and aerosol deposition in the nasal cavity of a 5-year-old child. J Aerosol Sci. 2011;42(3):156–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kublik H, Vidgren M. Nasal delivery systems and their effect on deposition and absorption. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 1998;29(1):157–77.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Swift DL, Proctor DF. Access of air to the respiratory tract. Respir Def Mech. 1977;5(part 1):63–93.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Antunes MB, Cohen NA. Mucociliary clearance–a critical upper airway host defense mechanism and methods of assessment. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007;7(1):5–10.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Andersen I, Proctor D. Measurement of nasal mucociliary clearance. Eur J Respir Dis Suppl. 1982;127:37–40.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Schipper NG, Verhoef JC, Merkus FW. The nasal mucociliary clearance: relevance to nasal drug delivery. Pharm Res. 1991;8(7):807–14.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Marttin E, Schipper NG, Verhoef JC, Merkus FW. Nasal mucociliary clearance as a factor in nasal drug delivery. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 1998;29(1):13–38.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Pires A, Fortuna A, Alves G, Falcão A. Intranasal drug delivery: how, why and what for? J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2009;12(3):288–311.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    USFDA. Guidance for Industry “Bioavailability and bioequivalence studies for nasal aerosols and nasal sprays for local action”. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), Rockville, MD. 2003.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Frank DO, Kimbell JS, Pawar S, Rhee JS. Effects of anatomy and particle size on nasal sprays and nebulizers. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012;146(2):313–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Suman JD, Laube BL, Dalby R. Comparison of nasal deposition and clearance of aerosol generated by a nebulizer and an aqueous spray pump. Pharm Res. 1999;16(10):1648–52.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Suman JD. Current understanding of nasal morphology and physiology as a drug delivery target. Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2013;3(1):4–15.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hallworth G, Padfield J. A comparison of the regional depesition in a model nose of a drug discharged from metered serosel and metered-pump nasal delivery systems. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1986;77(2):348–53.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rygg A, Hindle M, Longest PW. Linking suspension nasal spray drug deposition patterns to pharmacokinetic profiles: a proof-of-concept study using computational fluid dynamics. J Pharm Sci. 2016;105(6):1995–2004.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ghahramani E, Abouali O, Emdad H, Ahmadi G. Numerical analysis of stochastic dispersion of micro-particles in turbulent flows in a realistic model of human nasal/upper airway. J Aerosol Sci. 2014;67:188–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Golshahi L, Noga M, Thompson R, Finlay W. In vitro deposition measurement of inhaled micrometer-sized particles in extrathoracic airways of children and adolescents during nose breathing. J Aerosol Sci. 2011;42(7):474–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Bennett WD, Zeman KL, Jarabek AM. Nasal contribution to breathing and fine particle deposition in children versus adults. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2007;71(3):227–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Xi J, Berlinski A, Zhou Y, Greenberg B, Ou X. Breathing resistance and ultrafine particle deposition in nasal–laryngeal airways of a newborn, an infant, a child, and an adult. Ann Biomed Eng. 2012;40(12):2579–95.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Cheng Y-S, Smith SM, Yeh H-C, Kim D-B, Cheng K-H, Swift DL. Deposition of ultrafine aerosols and Thoron progeny in replicas of nasal Airways of Young Children. Aerosol Sci Technol. 2007;23(4):541–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Becquemin MH, Swift DL, Bouchikhi A, Roy M, Teillac A. Particle deposition and resistance in the noses of adults and children. Eur Respir J. 1991;4(6):694–702.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Xi J, Si X, Zhou Y, Kim J, Berlinski A. Growth of nasal-laryngeal airways in children and their implications in breathing and inhaled aerosol dynamics. Respir Care. 2013;59(2):263–73.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    List SJ, Findlay BP, Forstner G, Forstner J. Enhancement of the viscosity of mucin by serum albumin. Biochem J. 1978;175(2):565–71.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Laube BL, Sharpless G, Vikani AR, Harrand V, Zinreich SJ, Sedberry K, et al. Intranasal deposition of Accuspray™ aerosol in anatomically correct models of 2-, 5-, and 12-year-old children. J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv. 2015;28(5):320–33.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Makidon PE, Nigavekar SS, Bielinska AU, Mank N, Shetty AM, Suman J, et al. Characterization of stability and nasal delivery systems for immunization with nanoemulsion-based vaccines. J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv. 2010;23(2):77–89.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Warnken ZN, Smyth HDC, Davis DA, Weitman S, Kuhn JG, Williams RO. Personalized medicine in nasal delivery: the use of patient-specific administration parameters to improve nasal drug targeting using 3D-printed nasal replica casts. Mol Pharm. 2018.
  34. 34.
    Foo MY. Deposition pattern of nasal sprays in the human nasal airway: interactions among formulation, device, anatomy and administration techniques. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA: ProQuest; 2007.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Guo Y, Laube B, Dalby R. The effect of formulation variables and breathing patterns on the site of nasal deposition in an anatomically correct model. Pharm Res. 2005;22(11):1871–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Xi J, Yuan JE, Zhang Y, Nevorski D, Wang Z, Zhou Y. Visualization and quantification of nasal and olfactory deposition in a sectional adult nasal airway cast. Pharm Res. 2016;33(6):1527–41.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Pu Y, Goodey AP, Fang X, Jacob K. A comparison of the deposition patterns of different nasal spray formulations using a nasal cast. Aerosol Sci Technol. 2014;48(9):930–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Chabacano. Olfactory System [Internet]. Wikimedia Commons. Copyright information: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA 2.5) [cited 2017 Oct 14]. Available from:

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pharmaceutics and Translational Therapeutics, College of PharmacyUniversity of IowaIowaUSA

Personalised recommendations