Validity of in vitro tests on aqueous spray pumps as surrogates for nasal deposition, absorption, and biologic response

Julie D. Suman, Beth L. Laube, Richard Dalby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


This research investigated the impact of the full range of in vitro spray characterization tests described in the FDA Draft Bioequivalence Guidance on nasal deposition pattern, pharmacokinetics, and biological response to nicotine administered by two aqueous nasal spray pumps in human volunteers. Nicotine was selected as a model drug (even though it is not locally acting) based on its ability to alter cardiac function and available plasma assay. Significant differences in pump performance-including mean volume diameters, spray angle, spray width, and ovality ratios-were observed between the two pumps. There were no significant differences in deposition pattern, or pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic response to the nasally administered nicotine. Although there were statistical differences in the in vitro tests between the two pumps, these differences did not result in significant alterations in the site of droplet deposition within the nose, the rate and extent of nicotine absorption, or the physiologic response it induced. These results suggest that current measures of in vitro performance, particularly spray angle and spray pattern (ovality), may not be clinically relevant. Additional research is needed to define what spray pump characteristics are likely to produce differences in deposition pattern and drug response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-521
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Aerosol Medicine: Deposition, Clearance, and Effects in the Lung
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006


  • Areosol
  • Bioequivalence
  • Gamma scintigraphy
  • In vitro/in vivo correlation
  • Nasal deposition
  • Nasal spray pump

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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