Warren H Finlay

Canada Research Chair in Aerosol Mechanics

Tier 1 - 2017-11-01
University of Alberta
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council


Coming to Canada From

Harvard University, Cambridge, United States

Research involves

Assessing the effects of particles in the respiratory tract and developing new research models.

Research relevance

This research will improve our understanding of how particles affect the respiratory tract and lead to better aerosol and spray products.

Respiratory Tract Research Could Help You Breathe Easier

How well does your inhaler work? Well, Dr. Warren Finlay plans to find ways to make it work a lot better.

Particles—such as medicines from an inhaler—that go into the respiratory tract through the nose can be beneficial. But other particles can be harmful, such as in the case of airborne pollutants. At the moment, we’re not entirely sure what happens to particles once they enter our noses. How far into our airways are they carried? Where do they land? Do they always land where they can be absorbed? Once they get there, do they have wanted or unwanted effects? As Canada Research Chair in Aerosol Mechanics, Finlay is trying to answer these questions.

He and his research team are exploring new methods to assess what happens to particles that enter the respiratory tract. Currently, researchers must use in vivo models to determine how effective their delivery methods are. Through their research, Finlay and his team will develop a replica airway model to overcome many of the current challenges to research in the field.

Their research will also provide feedback to other researchers, allowing them to work with the greatest possible accuracy. It will also enable the development of more efficient, effective nasal aerosol and spray products, such as inhalers and nasal sprays, as well as the delivery of oxygen. Finlay’s work will also help determine the risks of potentially toxic environmental aerosols and consumer products.