Computer simulation of inspiratory flow and particle deposition in human oral airway

Xiaobo Zhu, University of Rhode Island


In this dissertation, the inspiratory air flow and aerosol deposition in the human oral airway are simulated using a commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software package, CFX. The dissertation consists of two parts: ^ In the first part, a three-dimensional curvilinear body-fitted grid system was developed based on the geometry of an anatomically accurate human oral airway. The respiratory tract consists of oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx and upper trachea. Velocity profiles and pressure fields at various inspiratory flow rates observed during aerosol medicine therapy were simulated. Both laminar and turbulent models were employed depending on the Reynolds number defined at the smallest cross-sectional area in the airway. The numerical method described above can be valuable components of aerosol therapy, toxicology risk assessment and basic medical research. ^ In the second part, the trajectories of particles in the human oral airway during mouth only inhalation were simulated, taking particle inertial impaction and sedimentation into consideration. Arrays of particles evenly distributed at the entrance of the oral airway were launched at the same velocity of airflow. Each of the particles was carefully traced all the way down and its destination recorded. The fraction of particles deposited in each individual airway segments were calculated. Graphical distributions of these particles were presented. It has been found that respiratory flow rates, particle sizes and initial conditions have significant effects on the deposition site of particles. The results of the particle deposition study have important potential application in the study of aerosol therapy and inhalation toxicology. ^

Subject Area

Applied Mechanics|Engineering, Mechanical|Biophysics, General

Recommended Citation

Xiaobo Zhu, "Computer simulation of inspiratory flow and particle deposition in human oral airway" (2001). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3039072.