Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 409–424 | Cite as

On the fate of inhaled particles in the human: A comparison of experimental data with theoretical computations based on a symmetric and asymmetric lung

  • T. Martonen


An analytical model is used to described the behavior of inhaled particulate matter in the human respiratory tract. Three different geometries, symmetric and asymmetric, are utilized to simultate the tracheobronchial (TB) tree. The suitability of each geometry for representing the human is evaluated by comparing calculated aerosol deposition probabilities with experimental data from inhalation exposure tests. A symmetric, dichotomously branching pattern is found to be a reliable description of the TB tree for studies of factors affecting aerosol deposition in the human lung. Calculations with the theoretical model are in excellent agreement with measured aerosol deposition efficiencies. Furthermore, the model accurately predicts experimentally observed features of inhalation exposure data, such as effects of inter-subject lung morphology differences and relative efficiencies of specific deposition mechanisms, on aerosol deposition patterns in the TB tree.


Aerosol Deposition Aerosol Mass Inspiratory Flow Rate Human Respiratory Tract Inertial Impaction 
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Copyright information

© Society for Mathematical Biology 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Martonen
    • 1
  1. 1.Inhalation Technology and Toxicology Section, BattelePacific Northwest LaboratoriesRichlandU.S.A.

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