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Discovery & Development Drug Delivery, Formulation

Navigating the Nose

Nasal drug delivery is considered non-invasive and can provide rapid therapeutic results – but it is also challenging because the nose is designed to filter out hazards rather than absorb drugs. Getting drugs to the upper nasal passages and the olfactory region is particularly difficult, but could open up the possibility of targeting the central nervous system.

A partnership between the University of Tours, France, and drug device specialist Nemera, aims to offer a boost to nasal drug delivery. Researchers at the university have developed a new delivery method that they believe will allow for better drug deposition in the distal region of the nasal cavities, and make the most of the influence of nose anatomy to decrease deposition variability.

“The University has patented its new method of delivering drugs to the nasal cavity and was looking for a partner to co-develop a disposable delivery device. The University will be focusing on experimental testing, mainly consisting of in-vitro deposition studies, and we will be working on the device and testing materials,” says Alain Regard, Technology Product Manager at Nemera.

Figure 1: Scintigraphy images of deposited aerosol in the human nasal cavities (lateral view) for nebulized aerosol (5µm particle size) by the nose (left image) and the same nebulizer used with the new concept (right image).

Initial proof of concept has been performed for the delivery method using jet nebulizer technology. The University of Tours and the Aerodrug department of the Diffusion Technique Française measured the influence of small particle sizes (from 2µm to 10µm in terms of mass median aerodynamic diameter) on the deposition distribution in a nasal cast model using their new method. Laurent Vecellio, Scientific Director of Aerodrug, and a member of the research team at the University of Tours explains in more detail: “Our method involves delivery of the drug through the buccal cavity during the nasal expiratory phase using a small portable device. The drug particles enter the nasal cavities through the rhino pharynx, which has a significant impact on drug deposition,” (see Figure 1).

You can read more about the challenges and potential of nasal drug delivery here.

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About the Author
Stephanie Vine

Making great scientific magazines isn’t just about delivering knowledge and high quality content; it’s also about packaging these in the right words to ensure that someone is truly inspired by a topic. My passion is ensuring that our authors’ expertise is presented as a seamless and enjoyable reading experience, whether in print, in digital or on social media. I’ve spent fourteen years writing and editing features for scientific and manufacturing publications, and in making this content engaging and accessible without sacrificing its scientific integrity. There is nothing better than a magazine with great content that feels great to read.

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