The fine particle dose delivered by a DPI is highly dependent upon the input energy. This energy is provided by the patient and is extremely variable. The concept of the αeolus technology is that it transforms and normalises this variable input energy, so that the energy used to deagglomerate and aerosolise the powdered formulation remains consistent.
This efficiency curve shown in Figure 1 can be considered as two parts – a steep part and a flatter part. All current DPIs perform on the steep part of this curve, and the “knee” is located at approximately 60 – 70%. This is a particularly suboptimal operating region, as even a small difference in the input energy (↓𝛿E) results in a large difference in the efficiency (↑𝛿η).
This is evident in real use with the majority of DPIs: Patients who inhale less forcefully put less energy into the formulation and consequently receive a lower fine particle dose than patients who inhale strongly, who put greater energy into the formulation and receive a higher fine particle dose. As one of the primary aims of any respiratory drug delivery system is to deliver a known quantity of drug, independently of how the patient inhales – operating before the knee, on the steepest part of the Energy Efficiency curve – is unfortunately the worst place to be. It is one of the main reasons why so few DPIs make it to market, as they struggle to make it through clinical studies due to variability in the delivered dose, resulting from the wide range of input energy provided by the patient group in the study.
CHI’s αeolus technology addresses the dependency of DPI performance upon input energy by moving the performance towards the top (↓𝛿η) and right (↑𝛿E) of the Energy Efficiency curve shown in Figure 1. By creating a system that achieves an FPF of at least 80%, even when used by a severe asthmatic, there simply isn’t the headroom for an athletic swimmer with only mild asthma and much more powerful lungs, for example, to achieve much more.
The αeolus dry powder inhaler design
- User simply inhales to receive dose
- Low cost (~30 cents)
- Inherently breath-actuated
- Load blister & inhale
- Low cost (~40 cents)
- Device replaced monthly
- Up to 60 unit blister doses
- Cost ~$1.5
- Connectivity adds ~$1