The effects of grid design on the performance of 3D-printed dry powder inhalers

Yuqing Ye, Ying Ma, Ziyi Fan, Jesse Zhu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The grid structure is an indispensable part of most dry powder inhalers, but the effects of grid geometry on inhaler performance are rarely reported. This study aims to systemically investigate the influence of grid design on the aerosolization performance of capsule-based inhalers through experiments and computational analysis. In-vitro aerosolization and deposition performance of commercial and 3D-printed customized inhalers with different grid mesh designs were experimentally studied using a Next Generation Impactor (NGI). Flow fields in the inhalers were generated, and average turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) and airstream trajectories were obtained through Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis, delineating the effects of the different grid designs. Comparative studies using the commercial inhalers and the 3D-printed inhalers show a slightly better performance for the latter, probably due to the different materials used for the inhalers, confirming the suitability of 3D printing. Experimental results show that intensive grid meshes with a relatively small aperture size are beneficial to enhancing inhaler performance. Computational results illustrate that the intensive grid meshes can reduce vortexed airstreams and increase turbulent kinetic energy at the grids in general, which also supports the experimental results. In summary, inhalers with intensive grid meshes are preferred for capsule-based inhalers to enhance aerosolization performance. These findings have significant implications for the comprehensive understanding of how grid designs influence inhaler performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122230
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D-printing technology
  • Aerosolization performance
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Dry powder inhaler
  • Grid design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of grid design on the performance of 3D-printed dry powder inhalers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this