Establishing the Vitrocell® Powder Chamber as a particle size-selective platform for in vitro dry powder testing

December 20, 2018

S. Steiner1 , M. Hittinger2 , K. Knoth2 , H. Gross2 , S. Frentzel1 , A. Kuczaj1 , J. Hoeng1 , T. Krebs3 , M. Peitsch1
1 PMI R&D, Philip Morris Products S.A., Quai Jeanrenaud 5, CH-2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
2 PharmBioTec GmbH, Science Park 1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
3 Vitrocell® Systems GmbH, Fabrik Sonntag 3, 79183 Waldkirch, Germany

The poster shows the use of the Vitrocell® Powder Chamber for dry powder testing by online monitoring of the powder mass deposition, by QCMs Nicotine quantification, particle number deposition and particle size distribution.



– The human respiratory tract, from the head airways (nasal, oral, and nasopharyngeal cavities) over the conducting airways (trachea, bronchi, bronchioles), down to the respiratory regions (respiratory bronchioles and alveolar sacs), is structurally and functionally heterogeneous.
– The deposition efficiency of inhaled particles varies strongly between the different regions of the respiratory tract, whereby particle size is a key determinant.
– The biological response to particle deposition in the respiratory tract is a function of the combined action of deposited particle mass, surface, and number.
– In vitro aerosol exposures should therefore aim at simulating aerosol doses, not only with respect to the applied aerosol mass but also with respect to the applied particle size distribution.
– The Vitrocell® Powder Chamber was developed for the size-selective deposition of dry powders on in vitro test systems in order to simulate the regionally different deposition efficiency of various particle sizes.
– In the presented work, a dry powder consisting of trehalose and containing nicotine was used in cell-free exposures for testing the system’s ability to uniformly and reliably deliver dry powders in a particle size-specific manner.

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