Magnetic deposition of aerosols composed of aggregated superparamagnetic nanoparticles

Yuanyuan Xie, Pengyun Zeng, Ronald A. Siegel, Timothy Scott Wiedmann, Bruce E. Hammer, P. Worth Longest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose. The deposition of magnetic particles was examined for the possibility of further enhancing the selectivity of inhalation drug administration for the treatment of lung cancer. Methods. Superparamagnetic magnetite nanoparticles were prepared and ultrasonically atomized, dried, and passed through glass tubes in the presence and absence of a wedge-shaped permanent magnet. The change in the outlet aerosol size distribution due to magnetic deposition under various well-defined aerodynamic conditions and a measured magnetic field, was determined by an aerodynamic particle sizer. In addition, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of magnetic aerosol transport and deposition were conducted. Results. The deposition fraction increased nearly linearly with particle diameter and was greater with lower air flow rates. The effect of tube diameter was complicated but well described by CFD simulations, as was the effect of particle size and air flow rate. Conclusions. The descriptive power of CFD simulations was demonstrated in the in vitro deposition of magnetic aerosol particles. This suggests that CFD simulations can potentially be used in future studies to design systems for selective drug delivery in vivo as a function of magnetic properties, aerosol characteristics, and respiratory physiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)855-865
Number of pages11
JournalPharmaceutical research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Yuanyuan Xie was partially supported by the EG Rippie Fellowship. The induced moment was measured by Yun Hao Xu under the direction of Professor Jian Ping Wang. Power-scope Inc. generously arranged for our use of the aerodynamic particle sizer on loan from TSI.


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Magnetic particle deposition
  • Magnetite
  • Respiratory drug delivery
  • Targeted aerosol deposition


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