New possibilities to calculate drug dissolution in the lung


In an article published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Göran Frenning and Irès van der Zwaan present new ways to model dissolution of polydisperse powders. The results simplify determination of dissolution profiles and can eventually be included in models for absorption of drugs administered, for example, to the lung.

Göran Frenning, Professor of Pharmaceutical physics
Göran Frenning, Professor of Pharmaceutical physics

In late spring, Irès van der Zwaan, researcher at SweDeliver and Uppsala University's Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, defended her thesis Characterization of an in vitro dissolution method for assessment of novel pulmonary drug delivery systems, with a focus on controlled release systems.

Irès van der Zwaan, Faculty of Pharmacy
Irès van der Zwaan, Faculty of Pharmacy

In her thesis, Irès van der Zwaan provides useful tools to assess existing and new formulations for the controlled release of active pharmaceutical substances in the lung. A work conducted at Professor Göran Frenning's research group in pharmaceutical physics, an environment that, with its focus on pulmonary drug delivery, has become a central factor for the scientific progress achieved at the SweDeliver national competence center.

In accompanying article A new modeling approach for dissolution of polydisperse powders, recently published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Irès van der Zwaan and Göran Frenning add new perspectives to both their own and other researchers' results. In the article they present a new method to determine dissolution of polydisperse powders that produces results consistent with Kevin C. Johnson's works published around the 1990s – which in turn have links dating back to Noyes and Whitney's equation from 1897, as well as to Nerst and Brunner modifications of the same equation in 1904.

“The purpose of our work is to simplify the analysis of dissolution of polydisperse powders and to demonstrate the possibility to generalise Johnson's modeling approach in a diversity of areas, thus, developing our previously reported studies. Our results show the accuracy we envisioned and we confirm its validity and applicability with literature data as well as our own experiments,” notes Göran Frenning.


  • SweDeliver’s research in pulmonary drug delivery focuses on controlled release, dissolution and absorption of drugs in the lungs and powder mechanics of adhesive mixtures useful for inhalation.
  • This research draws on the strong scientific expertise on particle performance within the pharmaceutical technology and pharmaceutical physics groups at Uppsala University.



Göran Frenning, ProfessorGöran Frenning, Professor
Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences

Ires van der Zwaan
Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences

text: Magnus Alsne, photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

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Last modified: 2024-04-04