Pulmonary Drug Delivery

  • Ashlee D. Brunaugh
  • Hugh D. C. Smyth
  • Robert O. Williams III
Part of the AAPS Introductions in the Pharmaceutical Sciences book series (AAPSINSTR)


This chapter provides an introductory overview on concepts related to drug delivery to the lungs. Physiological barriers to lung delivery are examined, as are the mechanisms for overcoming these barriers through delivery device and formulation design. A review is provided of delivery mechanisms and design of the three major classes of pulmonary drug delivery devices (pressurized metered dose inhalers, nebulizers, and dry powder inhalers). For each class of device, appropriate formulation approaches are discussed.


Nebulizer Pressurized metered dose inhaler Dry powder inhaler Orally inhaled drug products Pulmonary drug delivery Pulmonary device design Powder dispersion Lung deposition 

Further Reading

  1. Suggested readings for the student include the following texts:Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    Brunaugh A, Smyth HD. Process optimization and particle engineering of micronized drug powders via milling. Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2018;8(6):1740–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 2.
    Brunaugh AD, Smyth HD. Formulation techniques for high dose dry powders. Int J Pharm. 2018;547(1–2):489–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 3.
    Dalby R, Spallek M, Voshaar T. A review of the development of Respimat® Soft Mist™ inhaler. Int J Pharm. 2004;283(1–2):1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 4.
    Moon C, Smyth HD, Watts AB, Williams RO. Delivery technologies for orally inhaled products: an update. AAPS PharmSciTech. 2019;20(3):117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 5.
    Moraga-Espinoza DF, Brunaugh AB, Ferrati S, Heersema LA, Herpin MJ, Martins PP, Zhang H, Smyth HDC. Overview of the delivery technologies for inhalation aerosols. In: Inhalation aerosols: physical and biological basis for therapy. 3rd ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2019.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    Smyth HD. The influence of formulation variables on the performance of alternative propellant-driven metered dose inhalers. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2003;55(7):807–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 7.
    Smyth HD, Hickey AJ. Carriers in drug powder delivery. Am J Drug Deliv. 2005;3(2):117–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 8.
    Smyth HD, Hickey AJ, editors. Controlled pulmonary drug delivery. New York: Springer; 2011.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashlee D. Brunaugh
    • 1
  • Hugh D. C. Smyth
    • 1
  • Robert O. Williams III
    • 1
  1. 1.College of PharmacyThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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