Each year, DDL brings together industry experts in the field of respiratory health to share breakthroughs in the treatment of respiratory conditions.

This year, Design Director Mark, and Senior Design Engineer Will, represented HD at DDL, catching up with industry colleagues on the latest innovations in the sector, and HD’s expertise in inhalation devices. Read on for their round-up from this years conference!

Twelve cups of coffee,
Eleven hours standing,
Ten hours driving,
Nine speakers speaking,
Eight posters postering,
Seven clients conversing,
Six beers emptied (ssh!),
Five (ty) pounds for parking,
Four deadlines looming,
Three miles walking,
Two cancelled trains,
And one inspiring DDL.


This year we had the pleasure of attending Drug Delivery to the Lungs (DDL), a multi-day conference dedicated to pulmonary and nasal drug delivery.

DDL is organised by a voluntary subcommittee of the Aerosol Society and aims to provide a conference purely dedicated to showcasing the latest research, insights and developments regarding drug delivery to the airways.

The conference was held at Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre, with an impressive auditorium hosting key speakers, a large poster area presenting the very latest in respiratory research, and a large exhibition hall where manufacturers were showcasing novel drug delivery devices, and services to support industry leaders in pulmonary and nasal drug delivery.

DDL 2023 Speakers

To echo Carsten Ehrhardt’s opening presentation, there are many benefits to drug delivery via inhalation such as; rapid absorption and action, non-invasive drug delivery and targeted delivery directly to the lungs. However, there are many limitations and challenges regarding ensuring that drug delivery to the lungs is not just safe, but also effective.

Efficacy of drug delivery to the lungs was well discussed by multiple speakers. Hossain Chizari from Kindeva Drug Delivery, presented a multi-physics and CFD approach to predict Low-GWP pMDI spray characteristics. At Haughton Design, we’re looking forward to seeing how close the results of the low GWP propellants would be compared to actual results.

Maximilian Grill from Ebenbuild also presented an impressive and incredibly complex CFD model whereby transient aerosol parameters were used to predict lung deposition. We’re also looking forward to the next generation of this research whereby dynamic inhalation geometry is modeled.

It was clear that a lot of effort is currently going into the measurement and testing of spray patterns, plume geometries and other spray characteristics, however accurately measuring the true behaviour of how the inhaled medication travels through the mouth, throat and into the lungs is still a challenging prospect.

Another talk that resonated with us was from Mark Sanders whereby he spoke about the focus on learning rather than training regarding inhaler technique mastery. The complex testing tools and simulation studies that we develop only measure the efficacy of the device, and not necessarily as how well they’re used by real people. The importance of user testing, and developing sufficient human centred materials focused on ensuring that users learn how to use and maintain their inhaler and respiratory health is deeply important.

It was great to see so much being done on the sustainability front to understand the spray characteristics of new low GWP propellants. It was also great seeing the variance in DPI’s, their forms and focus not just on their efficacy nor sustainability, but also usability. It is however still clear to us that there is so much more opportunity to develop more sustainable drug delivery devices, and how the inhalation section could also inspire new developments in other parenteral drug delivery routes.

At Haughton Design, we’ve been working on some very exciting pulmonary and nasal devices with a number of our clients. Attending DDL has confirmed our confidence on our designs and we’re incredibly excited to showcase our novel developments.

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