Effect of magnesium stearate surface coating method on the aerosol performance and permeability of micronized fluticasone propionate

Virender Kumar, Bharti Sethi, Evelyn Yanez, Dennis H. Leung, Yashwardhan Y. Ghanwatkar, Jonathan Cheong, Jerry Tso, Ajit S. Narang, Karthik Nagapudi, Ram I. Mahato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In this study, we evaluated the aerodynamic performance, dissolution, and permeation behavior of micronized fluticasone propionate (FP) and magnesium stearate (MgSt) binary mixtures. Micronized FP was dry mixed with 2% w/w MgSt using a tumble mixer and a resonant acoustic mixer (RAM) with and without heating. The mixing efficacy was determined by X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis. Additional techniques were used to determine powder properties such as the dynamic vapor sorption (DVS), particle size distribution (PSD) by laser diffraction light scattering, and particle surface properties by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The aerodynamic performance was studied by the next-generation impactor (NGI) using drug-loaded capsules in a PlastiApi® device. Physiochemical properties such as porosity, particle size distribution, and surface area of the formulations were studied with adsorption and desorption curves fitted to several well-known models including Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), Barret Joyner Halenda (BJH), and the density functional theory (DFT). The dissolution behavior of the formulations collected on the transwell inserts incorporated into stages 3, 5, and 7 of the NGI with a membrane providing an air interface was evaluated. Drug permeability of formulations was assessed by directly depositing particles on Calu-3 cells at the air-liquid interface (ALI). Drug concentration was determined by LC-MS/MS. A better MgSt mixing on micronized FP particles was achieved by mixing with a RAM with and without heating than with a tumble mixer. A significant concomitant increase in the % of emitted dose and powder aerosol performance was observed after MgSt mixing. Formulation 4 (RAM mixing at room temperature) showed the highest rate of permeability and correlation with dissolution profile. The results show that the surface enrichment of hydrophobic MgSt improved aerosolization properties and the dissolution and permeability rate of micronized FP by reducing powder agglomerations. A simple low-shear acoustic dry powder mixing method was found to be efficient and substantially improved the powder aerosolization properties and enhanced dissolution and permeability rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121470
JournalInternational journal of pharmaceutics
StatePublished - Mar 5 2022


  • Aerodynamic
  • Aerosolization
  • Calu-3
  • Inhalation
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Pulmonary drug delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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