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Smart Inhaler System for Targeted Drug-Aerosol Delivery


Kelly Sexton:
(919) 515-7199

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Office of Technology Transfer
North Carolina State University

Smart Inhaler System for Targeted Drug-Aerosol Delivery


Researchers at NCSU have developed a novel smart inhaler system for targeted drug-aerosol delivery. In contrast to current systems, which at best distinguish targets in either the upper (bronchial) or lower (alveolar) regions, the novel inhaler, developed by NCSU Professors Clement Kleinstreuer and Stefan Seelecke, implements a technology that, for the first time, allows the targeting of regions at specific generations in either the left or the right lobe of the lung. Together with virtually eliminated parasitic wall deposition in the upper oral airways and on other healthy tissue, this feature is envisioned to enable a new technology for safer and more efficient treatment of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. In addition, the system will also create a platform for novel oral intake methods of various other kinds of pharmaceuticals such as insulin with unmatched efficiency.

The targeted drug deposition is achieved by injecting the drug aerosols from an optimal release position in the mouth inlet cross section by means of a controllable nozzle. In addition, the smart inhaler system is designed to modify the patient's inhalation pattern to produce a desired inhalation waveform, which has the added benefit of eliminating extra training phases. Prototypes of the smart inhaler system have been constructed and used to demonstrate selective deposition of drug aerosols in a model lung system.

· Avoidance of drug deposition on non-target lung tissue reduces potential for deleterious side effects in chemotherapeutical treatment.
· Platform is compatible with conventional aerosol sources.
· High deposition efficiency and control results in less wasted drug, enhancing cost effectiveness.

About the Inventors:
Dr. Clement Kleinstreuer is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NCSU. He received his M.S. from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Kleinstreuer's research interests include computational biofluid mechanics, convection heat and mass transfer, and system optimization.

Dr. Stefan Seelecke is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NCSU. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from the Technical University Berlin. Dr. Seelecke's research interests include smart materials and structures, modeling and simulation of smart materials actuators and sensors, novel real-time control techniques, SMA-based MEMS actuators, novel SMA damping elements, and biomedical applications.

List of Key Publications Related to Smart Inhaler System for Targeted Drug-Aerosol Delivery:

Published Journal Articles:
1. Kleinstreuer, C., Shi, H., and Zhang, Z., 2007, "Computational Analyses of a Pressurized
Metered Dose Inhaler and a New Drug-Aerosol Targeting Methodology", Journal of Aerosol
Medicine, 20(3): 294-309.

2. Zhang, Z., Kleinstreuer, C., and Kim, C.S., 2006, "Isotonic and Hypertonic Saline Droplet
Deposition in a Human Upper Airway Model", Journal of Aerosol Medicine, 19, 184-198.

3. Zhang, Z., Kleinstreuer, C, Donohue, J.F. and Kim C.S., 2005, "Comparison of Micro- and
Nano-Size Particle Depositions in a Human Upper Airway Model", Journal of Aerosol
Science, 36: 211-233.

4. Kleinstreuer, C., and Zhang, Z., 2003, "Targeted Drug Aerosol Deposition Analysis for a
Four-Generation Lung Airway Model with Hemispherical Tumors", ASME Journal of
Biomechanical Engineering, Vol. 125(2), pp.197-206.

Articles In Press and Submitted:
5. Kleinstreuer, C., Zhang, Z., and Donohue, J.F., 2008, "Targeted Drug-aerosol Delivery in the
Human Respiratory System," Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 10 (on-line
April 2008).



J. Biomechan. Eng.
Published Patent Application No. 20070044793