Division of Respirology

Myrna B. Dolovich

P. Eng (Elec).

Professor(PT) , Division of Respirology, Department of Medicine






Research Interests

  1. In vitro and in vivo characterization of medical aerosols from various types of delivery systems used in the treatment of respiratory disease in a variety of patient groups. Structure/Function: the effects of alterations in aerosol particle size, in breathing patterns and airway caliber on the deposition of inhaled drugs in the lung, the targeting of inhaled therapy to specific sites in the lung and in the development of efficient, therapeutic aerosol delivery systems using our knowledge of aerosols and aerosol drug delivery to the lung. Animal models are employed to test targeting of various aerosol formulations to proximal or distal sites in the lung and in assessing response to these treatments.
  2. Medical and diagnostic aerosols available from different inhalers are characterized by cascade impaction and laser diffraction; aerosol quantity available for inhalation measured using standard FDA/HPB/USP methods; electronic simulation utilized to test the effect of of breathing manoeuvers on drug delivery. Imaging of the lung in animals and humans, using both 2D and 3D PET scanning and low energy gamma emitters or direct-labelled drug products allows topographic measurements drug deposition and distribution as well as physiologic functions . Inflammation and the effects of treatment on lung ventilation and drug distribution are assessed using 3D PET scanning along with other clinical outcomes such as spirometry and induced sputum . Ciliary function is assessed by imaging nasal and/or lung transport of radiotracers and ex-vivo motion analysis of ciliary beat.
  3. Current projects are characterization of radiolabelled HFA ciclesonide MDI; deposition and pharmacokinetics of inhaled insulin using 3D PET; assessment of response to inhaled steroids in asthma exacerbations using 3D PET and other function measurements; characterization of new nebulizer technologies for delivering suspension corticosteroids and surrogate albumin particles.


  • Pfizer: “Deposition and Absorption of Inhaled 18F-Insulin”
  • GlaxoSmithKlein: “Development of 11C-Salmeterol Aerosol for PET Imaging”.
  • Sepracor Inc.: “Development of 11C-Albuterol Enantiomers for PET Imaging in Asthma”.
  • 3M Canada: "Effect on Lung Ventilation of HFA-Beclomethasone dipropionate (QVAR) Therapy in Asthma measured by PET”.
  • Aerogen Inc.: “Characterization of the Delivery Efficiency of the AeroDoseTM 5.7 Metered Dose Liquid Inhaler: Effect of Nebulizer Formulation, Aerosol Particle Size and Breathing Pattern”.
  • OTS Block Term Grant: “Analysis of Nasal Ciliary Beat Frequency and Waveform using High Speed Imaging Digital Camera and Software”.
  • OTS Block Term Grant: “Development and Validation of 3-Dimensional Lung Imaging Analysis Programs for the PET and Micro-SPECT/CT ”.
  • Altana Pharma, Canada: “Deposition of 99mTc-HFA Ciclesonide in Pediatric Asthma”.
  • GlaxoSmithKlein: “Detection of Regional Lung Inflamation in COPD using 18Fluorodeoxyglucose and Positron Emission Tomography (PET).

Selected Publications

  1. Dolovich M, Ahrens R, Hess D, Anderson P, Dhand R, Rau J, Smaldone GC, Guyatt G. Device selection and outcomes of aerosol therapy:American College of Chest Physicians /American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Evidence-Based Guidelines. Chest 2005;127:335-371.
  2. Aerosols in Medicine: Principles, Diagnosis and Therapies. Elsevier Science Publishers, 2 nd edition, eds Moren F, Dolovich M, Newhouse M, Newman S. Elsevier Science Publishers, 2 nd edition, 1993.
  3. Aerosol Delivery Devices and Airways/Lung Deposition. In: Inhaled Steroids in Asthma: Optimizing Effects in the Airways. Eds RS Schleimer, PO’Byrne, S Szefler , R Brattsand. Lung Biology in Health and Disease Series vol 163 Marcel Dekker, Inc. NY, Chapter 8, p169-211, 2002.
  4. Practical aspects of imaging techniques employed to study aerosol deposition and clearance. In: Pharmaceutical Inhalation Aerosol Technology, ed AJ Hickey. 2nd Edition. Marcel Dekker, Inc. NY, Chap 6, p171-213, 2003.
  5. Andrus P, Rhem R, Rosenfeld J, Dolovich M. Nicotine Microaerosol Inhaler. Can Resp J 1999 6(6):509-512.
  6. Dolovich M. Influence of inspiratory flow rate, particle size and airway caliber on aerosolized drug delivery to the lung. Respir Care 2000; 45(6):597-608.
  7. Martonen T, Musante CJ, Segal RA, Schroeter JD, Hwang D, Dolovich M,Burton R, Spencer RM, Fleming J. Lung models: strengths and limitations. Respir Care 2000; 45(6):712-736.
  8. Dolovich M. Measuring total and regional lung deposition using inhaled radiotracers. J Aerosol Medicine 2001; 14 Supplement 1:S-35-S-44.
  9. Dubus JC, Rhem R, Dolovich M. Delivery of HFA and CFC salbutamol from spacer devices used in infancy. Int’l J Pharmaceu 2001; 222:101-108.
  10. Southam DS, Dolovich M, O'Byrne PM, Inman MD. Distribution of intranasal instillations in mice: effects of volume, time, body position, and anesthesia. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2002; 282:L833-9.
  11. Martin RM, Szefler SJ, Chinchilli VM, Kraft M, Dolovich MB, Boushey HA, Cherniack RM et al . Systemic effort comparisons of six inhaled corticosteroid preparations. Amer J Resp Crit Care Med 2002; 165:1377-1383.
  12. Dolovich M. Assessing Nebulizer Performance. Respir Care 2002; 47:1290-1301.
  13. Parameswaran K, Leigh R, O'Byrne PM, Kelly MM, Goldsmith CH, Hargreave FE, Dolovich M. Clinical models to compare the safety and efficacy of inhaled corticosteroids in patients with asthma. Can Respir J. 2003 Jan – Feb; 10:27 -34.
  14. Labiris NR, Nahmias C, Freitag AP, Thompson ML, Dolovich MB. Positron Emission Tomography and [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose: An Indicator of Lung Inflammation in Cystic Fibrosis? ERJ 2003; 21:848-54.
  15. Labiris, RN, Dolovich MB. Pulmonary Drug Delivery Part I: Physiological factors affecting therapeutic effectiveness of aerosolized medications. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2003;56:588-599.
  16. Labiris, RN, Dolovich MB. Pulmonary Drug Delivery Part II: The role of inhalant delivery devices and drug formulations in therapeutic effectiveness of aerosolized medications. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2003;56:600-612.
  17. Dolovich MB, Labiris NR. Imaging Drug Delivery and Drug Responses in the Lung. Proc Am Thorac Soc 2004 1:329-337.