New precision for popular tech: Nebulizer module for PreciseInhale

  • 15 February, 2017
  • 09:41

A new nebulizer module for PreciseInhale will combine the popular availability of nebulizer sprays with precision dosing. For the first time researchers will be able to set the exact aerosol dose and gather data on a single subject tested with nebulized spray—a welcome departure from imprecise, animal-intensive ‘tower’ systems. For researchers testing soluble peptides and proteins it means accessing greater and more accurate data, earlier on.

We’ve always developed PreciseInhale from our client’s needs,” says ISAB CSO Per Gerde. “And clients have asked for the convenience of nebulized sprays, with the added finesse and precision of PreciseInhale. So we’ll provide that.”

Nebulier prototype

Detail, prototype nebulizer module with spray

Nebulizers are popular, but not without problems. “Nebulizers are handy,” says Gerde. “But because the test substance needs to be water soluble, they seriously limit the type of drugs you can test in pharma research. In air pollution research too nebulizers can limit the range of test substances.  For example, getting reactive dry dusts into a nebulized saline solution kills off much of the reactivity. Combined with the fact that we don’t inhale liquids in real life, nebulizers come in for criticism scientifically. But—a lot of data still derives from them, and many people don’t have dry powders in-house. This is a great option for them. For researchers testing soluble peptides and proteins in particular the new module offers very accurate data, earlier on.”

Setting a single, precise dose

Typically, until now, nebulized sprays have been used on large numbers of rodents packed into cages or tanks filled with aerosol. As well as the unnecessarily large number of animals used in this 3R-conscious age, this method also means researchers can’t set a calibrated single aerosol dose per animal—meaning they fail to produce data on the dispersal of the aerosol in the individual animal’s lungs.

With its one-animal-at-a-time methodology, sensor-enabled holding chamber, digital Casella display and easy-to-use software, PreciseInhale lets researchers measure, picture and gather data from a pre-set, measured dose of aerosol on an individual test animal—data of a precision not possible with large ‘tower’ or ‘tank’ tests.

Carl-Olof Sjöberg, ISAB’s software engineer and product developer: “No one is using nebulizers in the way we are. And nebulizers are nothing new to us! We have used and developed them before with major clients. You really need to play around with components a lot to realize how best to use them. We iterate constantly, all the time improving what works best. With this module, for example, we have used some of the functions from our spray drying platform LaminarPace for extra stability. And our Casella monitor, originally developed as an environmental monitor, measures the delivered dose. We pulse the nebulized spray, reducing the output greatly to best suit the frugal dosing needed for single rodents tested one at a time. Accurate dosing is ensured by measuring both the animal’s breathing and the aerosol concentration with the Casella.”