The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

THE EFFECT OF NEBULIZER OPERATION ON MEDICATION TEMPERATURE: COMPARISON OF A NOVEL PIEZOELECTRIC NEBULIZER WITH A TRADITIONAL ULTRASONIC NEBULIZER

James B. Fink, MS, RRT, FAARC, and Paul Uster, PhD; AeroGen, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA

Background: Ultrasonic nebulizers heat medications while generating aerosols. The effect of heat on proteins has been well established, with large variance between molecules. Proteins and liposomes may be aggregated or denatured secondary to heat or mechanical methods of nebulization. (Pharmaceutical Research 1995. 12:53-9). We compared a novel piezoelectric nebulizer with a Siemens 345 UltraSonic Nebulizer? and the effect of operation on medication temperature. While the ultrasonic nebulizer applies high frequency vibration directly to the medication, the AeroNeb uses an aerosol generator (AG) comprised of a dome-shaped, metallic plate, »0.5cm in diameter, perforated by precisely sized and tapered holes mounted on a ceramic piezoelectric disc, which vibrates when low voltage currents are applied.

Methods: To determine temperature changes of medication during use, we operated both nebulizers with 10mL of solution, beginning with an ambient temperature of 23±1°C, monitored with a digital thermistor placed in the medication reservoir.

Results: After 20 minutes of operation, there was a 24°C increase in temperature in the medication reservoir with the Siemens 345, resulting in a maximum medication temperature of 57°C. In contrast, there was no significant increase in medication temperature with the AeroNeb during normal operation.

Conclusions: Unlike the standard ultrasonic nebulizer, the novel piezoelectric aerosol generator did not increase the temperature of the medication during operation. Before nebulizing proteins or liposomes with any ultrasonic nebulizer, users should contact the drug manufacturer to determine the effect of heat or ultrasonic nebulization on drug efficacy.

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