Adhesion force measurement of a DPI size pharmaceutical particle by colloid probe atomic force microscopy

M. Tsukada (Corresponding Author), R. Irie, Y. Yonemochi, R. Noda, H. Kamiya, W. Watanabe, Esko I. Kauppinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


The method to determine the adhesion characteristics of fine drug particles for dry powder inhalation (DPI) was established using a colloid probe which mounted a 1–3 μm drug particle on a commercial atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilever. A new preparation system of colloid probes for fine particles smaller than 2.5 μm in diameter was developed with the aid of a micromanipulator and a video microscope. Using this colloid probe, adhesion force distribution between a spherical polycrystalline drug particle and a plate of lactose monohydrate representing for DPI carrier materials or stainless steel for device wall materials was measured. Atmospheric humidity as well as the material and surface roughness of a target plate affected the determined adhesion force. With increasing surface roughness of a lactose plate, the adhesion force between a drug particle and the plate distributed more widely and their mean value decreased. Adhesion force increased meaningfully with atmospheric humidity. Adhesion force for stainless steel was higher than that for lactose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-269
JournalPowder Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • colloid probe
  • AFM
  • atomic force microscope
  • dry powder inhalation
  • drug particle adhesion
  • lactose carrier
  • adhesion
  • adhesion force measurement


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