For drug delivery devices, ensuring patients receive consistent dosages is essential to successful treatment. One medical device manufacturer has created a material for the production of inhalers that promises to solve many problems faced by asthma sufferers.
In response to static build up issues, Philips Respironics, a leading provider of solutions for sleep and respiratory markets, partnered up with custom compounder RTP Company  to develop a material for their OptiChamber Advantage II Valve Holding Chamber (VHC) to the benefit asthma patients worldwide.
When asthma medication is delivered by aerosol inhalation, administering inconsistent dosages can be problematic. It has been shown that VHCs can attract and hold residual amounts of medication due to static build up, especially when used with a new class of inhalers that have replaced chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propellants with hydrofluoroalkane (HFA).
VHCs are advantageous for patients who have difficultly coordinating their inspiration with the activation of the inhaler, such as children and the elderly. Conventional VHCs can build up static charge and require washing and air-drying to reduce static prior to inhaler use.
"The use of a charge-neutral material in our VHC was vital to meeting the needs of healthcare providers and their patients through improved design," said Robert Koshinskie, Sr, Product Manager for Philips Respironics. "By addressing static attraction, the product offers consistent and reliable delivery on first use out of package, whether washed or unwashed."
In order to achieve a neutral charge for the chamber, Respironics worked closely with RTP Company engineers to find a conductive material that would eliminate static build-up while maintaining a nearly water-clear appearance to aid in its operation. Ultimately, they chose a PermaStat 600 Series all-polymeric, permanently anti-static ABS compound for the device. The material's low resistivity provided Respironics engineers just the right amount of static dissipation to optimize the chamber's functionality.
The OptiChamber Advantage can be completely taken apart, making cleaning much easier. The VHC also offers a separate mask that attaches directly to the mouthpiece and can be used to assist infants and small children with medication inhalation.
Koshinskie noted that the decision to choose RTP Company as their material supplier was not a difficult one. "We've always had a good relationship with RTP Company," he said. "This material gave us a great balance of low resistivity, high clarity, and strength, which was key to the success of our product."