Formulating Inhalable Dry Powders Using Two-Fluid and Three-Fluid Nozzle Spray Drying



The spray drying process is widely applied for pharmaceutical particle engineering. The purpose of this study was to investigate advantages and disadvantages of two-fluid nozzle and three-fluid nozzle spray drying processes to formulate inhalable dry powders.


Budesonide nanocomposite microparticles (BNMs) were prepared by co-spray drying of budesonide nanocrystals suspended in an aqueous mannitol solution by using a two-fluid nozzle spray drying process. Budesonide-mannitol microparticles (BMMs) were prepared by concomitant spray drying of a budesonide solution and an aqueous mannitol solution using a spray drier equipped with a three-fluid nozzle. The resulting dry powders were characterized by using X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and Raman microscopy. A Next Generation Impactor was used to evaluate the aerodynamic performance of the dry powders.


XRPD and DMA results showed that budesonide remained crystalline in the BNMs, whereas budesonide was amorphous in the BMMs. Spray drying of mannitol into microparticles resulted in a crystalline transformation of mannitol, evident from XRPD, DSC and Raman spectroscopy analyses. Both BMMs and BNMs displayed a faster dissolution rate than bulk budesonide. The yield of BNMs was higher than that of BMMs. The mass ratio between budesonide and mannitol was preserved in the BNMs, whereas the mass ratio in the BMMs was higher than the theoretical ratio.


Spray drying is an enabling technique for preparation of budesonide amorphous solid dispersions and nanocrystal-embedded microparticles. Two-fluid nozzle spray drying is superior to three-fluid nozzle spray drying in terms of yield.

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Correspondence to Mingshi Yang.

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Leng, D., Thanki, K., Foged, C. et al. Formulating Inhalable Dry Powders Using Two-Fluid and Three-Fluid Nozzle Spray Drying. Pharm Res 35, 247 (2018).

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  • budesonide
  • spray drying
  • three-fluid nozzle spray drying
  • two-fluid nozzle spray drying