New research to enable increased drug doses to the lung

By exploring the physical stability of particles during pulmonary drug delivery, Sohan Sarangi, PhD student at SweDeliver, is providing important knowledge about optimising the amount of drug delivered to the lungs.

(Image removed) Sohan Sarangi, PhD student at SweDeliver, Uppsala University

Pulmonary drug delivery is essential for local administration of drugs to the lung, used, among other things, in the treatment of diseases such as asthma and COPD. The method is also useful to deliver biopharmaceuticals such as vaccines and growth hormones. However, deeper understanding is required regarding the factors governing the deposition, dissolution and absorption of drugs in the lung, and in the project Particle Dynamics and Multiscale Modelling of Adhesive Mixtures for Inhaled Medicines, Sohan Sarangi, PhD student at SweDeliver, is investigating the formulation and handling of adhesive mixtures.

“In these mixtures, micronized, extremely small drug particles are attached to considerably larger carrier particles to overcome the cohesiveness resulting from the small particle size needed for pulmonary drug delivery. In our studies, we map the interaction and effective mechanical properties between the drug and carrier particles and their aggregates. Our aim is to contribute knowledge that will enable increased doses of active drug substances that will not separate during the transport,” says Sohan Sarangi.

In February 2020, Sohan Sarangi published the article Numerical modeling of collision of self-adhesive units: Stability and mechanical properties under handling in the scientific journal Chemical Engineering Science: X. Here, new insights into lumping, bridging and flowability of adhesive units and mixtures are provided. Currently, two more articles are in the pipeline to be published during the spring of 2021. After that, Sohan Sarangi will begin work on the fourth and final part of his project.

(Image removed) "We will study the friction between the drug and carrier particles, which is the last piece needed before compiling the results of our work. One central part being a map, which via extreme values will ​​predict where drug particles are likely to segregate during pulmonary drug delivery, something we hope will be of great use to the SweDeliver industrial partners.”

In parallel with his research, Sohan Sarangi is engaged in SweDeliver's newly initiated Work package Training and Career Development. With a focus on international and intersectoral mobility, preparations are being made for mentoring programs, courses and study visits. The agenda also includes industrial secondment of PhDs and Post Docs and adjunct academic positions for industry senior scientists.

“I have my mind set on working for a few years in the international pharmaceutical industry before I return to Sweden. And that within the framework of, for example, Mentor4Research, be able to develop our already extensive interaction with pharmaceutical companies, will provide understanding of what knowledge is relevant within the industry and how we can utilise it. The Training and Career Development Work package will without a doubt add yet another valuable dimension to SweDeliver.”

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(Image removed) Sohan Sarangi
PhD student, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences

text: Magnus Alsne, photo: Mikael Wallerstedt