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Assessment of Fugitive Aerosol Emission During Actuation of a Breath-actuated Mesh Nebuliser

Emission of fugitive aerosol has increasingly gained attention in the inhalation therapy field due to the risk it may pose to medical practitioners and bystanders that are in close proximity to patients receiving treatment with nebulisers. Existing data indicates that up to 50% of the aerosol generated with continuous output mode nebulisers could potentially end up as fugitive aerosol. As a result, several approaches have been introduced to mitigate this issue, one of them being breath actuation, which offers among the most effective solutions to reduce fugitive emission, while improving delivered dose. In this study, a breath-actuated mesh nebuliser was used to assess fugitive aerosol emission by comparing a control setup against two other setups that included a suction source (30 L/min and 60 L/min) to capture fugitive aerosol that could escape from the back ventholes of the nebuliser. The results revealed that while keeping a delivered dose close to 80%, the captured fugitive aerosol remained between 1.6 and 2.1%. The results also indicated that the aerodynamic design for the air flow path of the nebuliser had also contributed to the resistance of reverse air flow to a certain degree. The findings did not only support the expected outcomes of the nebuliser’s breath-actuated function, but also confirmed the generation of a desirable aerosol performance with droplets within the respirable range. Moreover, it is projected that studies of this nature could further encourage the development of inhalation treatments involving inhaled formulations that contain biologics and antibiotics.

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