Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing

, Volume 54, Issue 7, pp 1085–1096 | Cite as

Fluid flow and particle transport in mechanically ventilated airways. Part I. Fluid flow structures

  • Timothy Van Rhein
  • Mohammed Alzahrany
  • Arindam Banerjee
  • Gary Salzman
Original Article


A large eddy simulation-based computational study of fluid flow and particle transport in upper tracheobronchial airways is carried out to investigate the effect of ventilation parameters on pulmonary fluid flow. Respiratory waveforms commonly used by commercial mechanical ventilators are used to study the effect of ventilation parameters and ventilation circuit on pulmonary fluid dynamics. A companion paper (Alzahrany et al. in Med Biol Eng Comput, 2014) reports our findings on the effect of the ventilation parameters and circuit on particle transport and aerosolized drug delivery. The endotracheal tube (ETT) was found to be an important geometric feature and resulted in a fluid jet that caused an increase in turbulence and created a recirculation zone with high wall shear stress in the main bronchi. Stronger turbulence was found in lower airways than would be found under normal breathing conditions due to the presence of the jet caused by the ETT. The pressure-controlled sinusoidal waveform induced the lowest wall shear stress on the airways wall.


Mechanical ventilation Pulmonary flow Large eddy simulation CT scan Waveform 


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy Van Rhein
    • 1
  • Mohammed Alzahrany
    • 2
  • Arindam Banerjee
    • 2
  • Gary Salzman
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringMissouri University of Science and TechnologyRollaUSA
  2. 2.Packard Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering and MechanicsLehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA
  3. 3.Respiratory and Critical Care MedicineUniversity of Missouri- Kansas City School of MedicineKansas CityUSA

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