Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 56, Issue 4–5, pp 380–385 | Cite as

Micro-particle deposition and lobar distribution of mass flow in human upper respiratory tract model

  • JianHua Huang
  • LianZhong ZhangEmail author
Open Access
Article Fluid Mechanics


A representative human upper respiratory tract model consisting of oropharyngeal and asymmetric tracheobronchial (TB) airways from the trachea (G0) to the main lobar bronchi (G2) was constructed. Laminar-to-turbulent airflow for typical inhalation modes as well as micro-particle transportation, wall deposition and mass flow to lobes was simulated using the CFX10.0 software from Ansys Inc. The numerical particle deposition efficiency of the oropharynx region and two generations (G1 and G2) of TB airways shows great agreement with the experimental data obtained from realistic casts. The particle deposition pattern indicates that inertial impaction is the primary mechanism in the human upper airway, and turbulence dispersion performs crescent influence especially for small particles. The initial positions of particles with different fates are confined to specifically concentrated zones. The particle mass distributions of five lobes are close to airflow distributions. The upper lobes receive fewer particles than lower lobes and the right middle lobe receives the least.


upper respiratory tract asymmetric tracheobronchial airways transportation and deposition lobar differences computational fluid dynamics simulation 


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© The Author(s) 2011

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PhysicsNankai UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXi’anChina

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