The Aerosol Research Laboratory of Alberta (ARLA) is within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta and is directed by Professor Warren Finlay. Its primary research is aimed at exploring and controlling the physics of inhaled pharmaceutical aerosols. Such aerosols are used in the therapeutic treatment of lung diseases such as asthma and cystic fibrosis, but are also being developed for the treatment of many other diseases where traditional delivery methods suffer drawbacks. Examples of the latter include pain management, as well as vaccinations using inhaled aerosols.
Because the physics of inhaled pharmaceutical aerosols (IPAs) is complex and involves aerosol mechanics, multiphase fluid mechanics, transport phenomena, and interfacial science, (in addition to pharmaceutics, chemistry, physiology, and medicine), present understanding and prediction of the behaviour of IPAs remains relatively undeveloped. At ARLA, we collaborate with researchers and companies around the world to develop and improve the understanding and prediction of IPAs for the treatment of disease, using a mix of experimental, theoretical and numerical methods.