• Ganga Srinivasan VES College of Pharmacy Chembur Mumbai-74
  • Advait Shetty VES College of Pharmacy Chembur Mumbai-74


The dry powder inhaler (DPI) has become widely known as a very attractive platform for drug delivery. DPIs are being used for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by many patients. There are over 20 devices presently in the DPI market. DPIs are preferred over nebulizers and pressurized metered dose inhalers. However, some of the challenges of DPI are dependence on inspiratory flow (unsuitable for young children, elderly people), systemic absorption due to deposition of drug in deep lung (unsuitable for local diseases treatment), and increase in upper airway deposition of a large fraction of coarse particles. Hence, there is a need to address these unmet issues. The interpatient variation can be minimized by developing devices independent of patient’s inspiratory flow rate or active based powder mechanism. This article reviews DPI devices currently available, advantages of newly developed devices, and formulation technologies. The platform technologies are developed to improve aerosolization and dispersion from the device and decrease the patient related factors. The DPI delivery system has been expanded to treatment of non-respiratory diseases such as migraine and diabetes. The development of innovative DPI device and formulation technologies for delivering therapeutic proteins such as insulin has been accelerated to overcome the problems associated with conventional insulin therapy.

Keywords: Dry powder inhaler, Inspiratory flow rate, Insulin, Platform technologies.

Author Biographies

Ganga Srinivasan, VES College of Pharmacy Chembur Mumbai-74
Professor and Head of the Pharmaceutics Department
Advait Shetty, VES College of Pharmacy Chembur Mumbai-74
Post Graduate Student


1. Chaturvedi NP, Solanki H. Pulmonary drug delivery system: Review.
Int J Appl Pharm 2013;5(3):7-10.
2. Pulmonary Drug Delivery Systems: Technologies and Global Market. Available from: pulmonary-drug-delivery-systems technologies-and-global- markets-262529191.html.
3. Pulmonary Drug Delivery Systems Market to Benefit from Growing Prevalence of COPD and Asthma. Transparency Market Research. Available from: pressrelease/pulmonary-drug-delivery-systems.htm. [Last posted on
2015 Mar 13].
4. Ashurst II, Malton A, Prime D, Sumby B. Latest advances in the development of dry powder inhalers. Res Focus 2000;3(7):246-56.
5. O’Connor BJ. The ideal inhaler: Design and characteristics to improve outcomes. Respir Med 2004;98 Suppl A: S10-6.
6. Geller DE. Comparing clinical features of the nebulizer, metered-dose inhaler, and dry powder inhaler. Respir Care 2005;50(10):1313-21.
7. Thorsson L, Edsbäcker S, Conradson TB. Lung deposition of budesonide from Turbuhaler is twice that from a pressurized metered- dose inhaler P-MDI. Eur Respir J 1994;7(10):1839-44.
8. Colthorpe P, Voshaar T, Kieckbusch T, Cuoghi E, Jauernig J. Delivery characteristics of a low-resistance dry-powder inhaler used to deliver the long-acting muscarinic antagonist glycopyrronium. J Drug Assess
9. Dewar MH, Jamieson A, McLean A, Crompton GK. Peak inspiratory flow through Turbuhaler in chronic obstructive airways disease. Respir

Med 1999;93(5):342-4.
10. Burnell PK, Small T, Doig S, Johal B, Jenkins R, Gibson GJ. Ex-vivo product performance of Diskus and Turbuhaler inhalers using inhalation profiles from patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respir Med 2001;95(5):324-30.
11. Muchão FP, Filho LV. Advances in inhalation therapy in pediatrics.
J Pediatr (Rio J) 2010;86(5):367-76.
12. Rau JL. The inhalation of drugs: Advantages and problems. Respir Care
13. Newman SP, Pitcairn GR, Hirst PH, Bacon RE, O’Keefe E, Reiners M, et al. Scintigraphic comparison of budesonide deposition from two dry powder inhalers. Eur Respir J 2000;16(1):178-83.
14. Available from:
15. Fyrnys B, Stang N, Wolf-Heuss E. Stability and performance characteristics of a budesonide powder for inhalation with a novel dry powder inhaler device. Curr Opin Pulm Med 2001;7 Suppl 1:S7-11.
16. Brown BA, Rasmussen JA, Becker DP, Friend DR. A piezo-electronic inhaler for local and systemic applications. Drug Deliv Technol
17. Corcoran TE, Venkataramanan R, Hoffman RM, George MP, Petrov A, Richards T, et al. Systemic delivery of atropine sulfate by the microdose dry-powder inhaler. J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv
18. Available from:
19. Son YJ, McConville JT. Advancements in dry powder delivery to the lung. Drug Dev Ind Pharm 2008;34:948-59.
20. Edwards DA, Ben-Jebria A, Langer R. Recent advances in pulmonary drug delivery using large, porous inhaled particles. J Appl Physiol
21. Hickey AJ, Concessio NM, Van Oort MM, Platz RM. Factors influencing the dispersion of dry powders as aerosols. Pharm Technol
22. Available from:
23. Sung JC, Manzanedo D, Ku AT, Kenyon J, Trautman BG, DeHaan WH, et al. iSPERSETM: Formulation and in vitro characterization of a novel dry powder drug delivery technology. Respir Drug Deliv Eur
24. Available from:
25. Geller DE, Weers J, Heuerding S. Development of an inhaled dry- powder formulation of tobramycin using PulmoSphereâ„¢ technology. J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv 2011;24(4):175-82.
26. Weers J, Tarara T. The PulmoSphereâ„¢ platform for pulmonary drug delivery. Ther Deliv 2014;5:277-95.
27. Weers JG, Bell J, Chan HK, Cipolla D, Dunbar C, Hickey AJ, et al.
Pulmonary formulations: What remains to be done? J Aerosol Med
Pulm Drug Deliv 2010;23 Suppl 2:S5-23.
28. Available from:
29. Angelo R, Rousseau K, Grant M, Leone-Bay A, Richardson P.
Technosphere insulin: Defining the role of Technosphere particles at the cellular level. J Diabetes Sci Technol 2009;3:545-54.
30. Al-Tabakha MM, Arida AI. Recent challenges in insulin delivery systems: A review. Indian J Pharm Sci 2008;70(3):278-86.
31. Mastrandrea LD. Inhaled insulin: Overview of a novel route of insulin administration. Vasc Health Risk Manag 2010;6:47-58.
32. FDA Approves Afrezza to Treat Diabetes. Available from: http://www. htm.
33. Available from:
34. Tenderich A. Just how hot are we for inhalable insulin? January, 2011.
Available from: are-we-for-inhalable-insulin#1.
838 Views | 754 Downloads
How to Cite
Srinivasan, G., and A. Shetty. “ADVANCEMENTS IN DRY POWDER INHALER”. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, Vol. 10, no. 2, Feb. 2017, pp. 8-12, doi:10.22159/ajpcr.2017.v10i2.14282.
Review Article(s)