New research may lead to more effective treatment of asthmatic attacks

Electrohydrodynamic atomization (EHDA) is a new technique able to produce droplets of a defined size. Based on techniques new to the field of medical atomization, it seems a promising technique for small hand-held devices

Bethesda, MD Asthma is a serious chronic condition affecting almost l5 million Americans. Between l982 and l994, there was a 6l percent increase in asthma patients. According to the American Lung Association, asthma accounts for an estimated 3 million lost work days for adults and 10.1 million lost school days in children annually.


Inhalation therapy is the most frequently applied method to administer drugs for the treatment of asthma. Direct local administration into the lungs leads to an immediate effect, and when compared with oral administration, smaller doses are needed. However, when conventional inhalation devices are used, only a fraction of the inhaled drug reaches the lower airways, where it has its therapeutic effect. A large part is deposited in the mouth and throat, after which it is swallowed and subsequently may be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.

The low efficiency of the inhalation equipment is related to the less optimal size distribution of the particles released, although recently developed inhalers can show improved distributions. Research has shown that, in adults, monodisperse 2.8-m bronchodilator particles were optimal in terms of efficacy. It was also shown that administration of these monodisperse aerosols could open the way to reduce the dose emitted from metered or dry powder inhalers by 80 percent without losing any clinical effect.

The means to produce monodisperse or narrow size-ranged steroid aerosols are limited. Present systems, like the spinning-top generator, are cumbersome in their use and are, therefore, confined to a laboratory environment Electrohydrodynamic atomization (EHDA) is a new technique able to produce monodispe

Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society

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