Effects of cartilaginous rings on airflow and particle transport through simplified and realistic models of human upper respiratory tracts
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In the present study, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used to investigate inspiratory and expiratory airflow characteristics in the human upper respiratory tract for the purpose of identifying the probable locations of particle deposition and the wall injury. Computed tomography (CT) scan data was used to reconstruct a three dimensional respiratory tract from trachea to first generation bronchi. To compare, a simplified model of respiratory tract based on Weibel was also used in the study. The steady state results are obtained for an airflow rate of 45 L/min, corresponding to the heavy breathing condition. The velocity distribution, wall shear stress, static pressure and particle deposition are compared for inspiratory flows in simplified and realistic models and expiratory flows in realistic model only. The results show that the location of cartilaginous rings is susceptible to wall injury and local particle deposition.
KeywordsUpper respiratory tract Cartilaginous rings Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) Computed tomography (CT) Wall shear stress Particle deposition
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