The purpose of the studies was to estimate efficiency of delivering nebulised drugs into the lower respiratory tract through endotracheal tubes (ET tubes) which are commonly used in the treatment of uncooperative patients. Water solution of Disodium Cromoglycate (DSCG) was nebulised with a constant air flow (25 l/min). Experimental studies were done for eight ET tubes with varying sizes (internal diameter, length) and made of two different materials. Size distribution of aerosol leaving ET tubes was determined with the use of aerosol spectrometer. Fine Particle Fraction (FPF) and Mass Median Aerodynamic Diameter (MMAD) were calculated for the aerosol leaving each tube. Additionally, mass of the Disodium Cromoglycate deposited into each endotracheal tube was determined. ET tubes can significantly influence the parameters of delivered aerosol depending on their diameter. FPF of aerosol delivered in to the respiratory tract is lower if small endotracheal tubes are used. However, MMAD and FPF for large endotracheal tubes are almost identical with MMAD and FPF from nebuliser. The results indicate that a substantial fraction of large droplets is eliminated from the aerosol stream in long endotracheal tubes (270 mm). In this case the mass of drug delivered through ET tubes is reduced but the content of small droplets increases (high value of FPF).
Transport properties of bronchial mucus are investigated by two-stage experimental approach focused on: (a) rheological properties and (b) mass transfer rate through the stagnant layer of solutions of mucus components (mucine, DNA, proteins) and simulated multi-component mucus. Studies were done using thermostated horizontal diffusion cells with sodium cromoglycate and carminic acid as transferred solutes. Rheological properties of tested liquids was studied by a rotational viscometer and a cone-plate rheometer (dynamic method). First part of the studies demonstrated that inter-molecular interactions in these complex liquids influence both rheological and permeability characteristics. Transfer rate is governed not only by mucus composition and concentration but also by hydrophobic/hydrophilic properties of transported molecules. Second part was focused on the properties of such a layer in presence of selected nanostructured particles (different nanoclays and graphene oxide) which may be present in lungs after inhalation. It was shown that most of such particles increase visco-elasticity of the mucus and reduce the rate of mass transfer of model drugs. Measured effects may have adverse impact on health, since they will reduce mucociliary clearance in vivo and slow down drug penetration to the bronchial epithelium during inhalation therapy.