An Assessment of the Comparative Efficiency of Abbreviated versus Full Resolution Cascade Impactor Measurements: A Survey of European Pharmaceutical Aerosol Group (EPAG) Members

S.C. Nichols, J.P. Mitchell

Summary
The Impactor Sub-Team of EPAG has conducted a survey amongst its member organizations to assess quantitatively the magnitude of time savings that are being realized with Abbreviated Impactor Measurement (AIM) cascade impactors (CIs) compared with full resolution systems in their own day-to-day operations. Eight different organizations responded to the survey, with information relating to the laboratory assessment of an assortment of pressurized metered dose inhalers (pMDIs) with and without valved holding chamber (VHC) add-on devices and dry powder inhalers (DPIs). Nebulizing systems were not represented. The magnitude of efficiency gains linked to the use of AIM-based methodologies was very dependent on the organization concerned, resulting in large variability in the aggregated data. Nevertheless, the efficiency gains per particle size distribution measurement using AIM-based methods were estimated to be 67% and 39% with and without HPLC assay time included respectively. It was therefore concluded that there are tangible gains to be made in overall CI method efficiency if an AIM-based option is introduced. This survey should be repeated in 5-years time, when it is to be hoped that more respondents, especially those evaluating OIP formats other than DPIs can be encouraged to participate.

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