Background: Chelating agents such as diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA) can be used as a decorporation drug in the zinc (Zn) form to treat internal radioactive contamination after exposure to plutonium or americium in a nuclear accident. Although Zn-DTPA is normally administered intravenously, inhalation of Zn-DTPA in aerosol form is a better route for direct delivery to the lungs. This work investigates the feasibility of synthesizing Zn-DTPA from three common chemicals and aerosolizing it using a jet or ultrasonic nebulizer. Methods: The particle size distribution (PSD) of this decorporation agent at different concentrations were tested in vitro using two different methods: inertial impaction and aerodynamic time of flight. The particles were generated using either a jet nebulizer or an ultrasonic nebulizer. Two parameters, namely the mass median aerodynamic diameter and the geometric standard deviation, were assessed to determine the PSD of the generated aerosols. These parameters were obtained for different concentrations of Zn-DTPA using both nebulizers. Results and Conclusions: Zn-DTPA was successfully synthesized for decorporation purposes. Aerosol particles within the inhalable range were successfully generated by both nebulizers from four different concentrations of Zn-DTPA. It was found that the medication concentration did not affect the PSD of Zn-DTPA. The ultrasonic nebulizer was observed to produce a slightly larger aerosol particle size and required slightly longer treatment periods to deliver an effective dose to the lungs when compared with the jet nebulizer. Both nebulizers can be sustainably run to administer the agent for effective decorporation treatment of a large population after any major nuclear accident.

anderson cascade impactor, GSD, jet nebulizer, MMAD, ultrasonic nebulizer, Zn-DTPA
Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Mehri, R. (Rym), Tang, W. (Weiquan), Matida, E, & Lai, E.P.C. (Edward P.C.). (2018). Aerosolization of Zn-DTPA Decorporation Agent Using Jet and Ultrasonic Nebulizers. Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery, 31(5), 311–320. doi:10.1089/jamp.2017.1419