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Table 1 Advantages and disadvantages of three types of nebulizers

From: Nebulized antibiotics in mechanically ventilated patients: a challenge for translational research from technology to clinical care

  Jet nebulizer Ultrasonic nebulizer Vibrating mesh nebulizer
Mechanism of aerosol generation Compressed gas and Venturi effect High-frequency drug solution agitation by a piezoelectric crystal High-frequency mesh vibrations pumping the drug solution trough tapered holes
Residual volume Large Medium Small
Medication restriction None Degradation of heat-sensitive drugs Highly concentrated or viscous solutions may cause damage to the nebulizer
Ergonomics Not portable, need of compressed gas
Potential interference with the ventilator
Need for decontamination
No interference with the ventilator
Portable, small size
No interference with the ventilator
  1. The particle sizes generated depend on each individual nebulizer model rather than the nebulizer type, and they are substantially impacted by the measurement conditions (e.g., temperature and humidity). For example, some specific jet nebulizers may deliver large particles (>5 µm for proximal targeting), whereas others deliver nanoparticles. All nebulizers available for clinical use produce sufficient droplets in the 1–5 µm size range of for pulmonary delivery during mechanical ventilation