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Inhalation Exposure Systems for Nicotine Delivery

Current use of inhalation exposure systems: 

So far only a few studies use computerized inhalation exposure systems for nicotine delivery. Instead many preclinical researchers investigate the effects of nicotine through intraperitoneal injections or oral consumption. Since the effects on the central nervous system (CNS) can depend on the method of administration, traditional methods of nicotine delivery such as cigarette smoke and e-cigarette vapor inhalation, provide relevant translational outcomes for clinical investigations.


Study investigates existing inhalation exposure systems

Dr. Alasmari and Dr. Crotty Alexander from the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Toledo and the Pulmonary and Critical Care Section of the San Diego Health Care System Institutions investigated the delivery of e-cigarette vapor and tobacco smoke through computerized machines. In addition to that, they compared the efficiency and practical applicability of the inExpose system to other nicotine inhalation systems.


Alasmari, Fawaz, et al.¹ study outcomes showed:
  1. Evidence that validates inhalation exposure systems as a more clinically relevant method of nicotine delivery compared to other delivery routes.
  2. Benefits of computerized inhalation exposure systems in terms accuracy and exposure parameters flexibility.
  3. The inExpose efficiently delivering high concentrations of nicotine into the brain through inhalation. Brain and plasma cotinine concentration in mice following six months of e-cigarettes exposure parallels human active smokers, validating inhalation exposure as a method for nicotine delivery into the circulatory system.


inExpose – providing relevant and reproducible inhalation exposure models


Inhalation exposure system composes of six major components. (A) Cigarette smoke generation: multiple type of cigarettes such as combustible and electronic-cigarettes generate smoking atmospheres. (B) Nose-only exposure: animals sit in mask holders to provide only nose exposure to cigarettes. (C) inExpose pumps: these pumps generate smoke puffs. (D) inExpose base unit: the base unit connects to the software to control exposure parameters such as exposure time and exposure duration. (E) Whole body chamber: animals sit in chambers to expose the whole body to cigarettes. (F) flexiWare software: controls the exposure temperature, patterns of smoking and humidity as well as the exposure time and duration.

Due to its precise control over the exposure, the inExpose allows researchers to finely-tune experiments to mimic real-world conditions providing relevant and practical animal models, which can be reproduced by collaborators globally.


¹Alasmari, Fawaz, et al. “A computerized exposure system for animal models to optimize nicotine delivery into the brain through inhalation of electronic cigarette vapors or cigarette smoke.” Saudi pharmaceutical journal (2018).



E-Cigarette vapour composition is influenced by a number of factors and standardizing how we study these devices will be key to understanding their impact.

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