Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 693–706 | Cite as

A two-component theory of aerosol deposition in lung airways

  • C. P. Yu


The deposition of aerosol particles in the human lung airways is due to two distinct mechanisms. One is by direct deposition resulting from diffusion, sedimentation and impaction as the aerosol moves in and out of the lung. The other is an indirect mechanism by which particles are transported mechanically from the tidal air to the residential air and eventually captured by the airways due to intrinsic particle motion. This last mechanism is not well understood at present. Using a trumpet airway model constructed from Weibel's data, a two-component theory is developed. In this theory, the particle concentrations in the airways and the alveoli at a given airway depth are considered to be quantitatively different. This difference in concentrations will cause a net mixing between the tidal and residential aerosol as the aerosol is breathed in and out. A distribution parameter is then introduced to account for the distribution of ventilation. The effect of intrinsic particle motion on the aerosol mixing is also included. From this theory, total and regional deposition in the lung at the steady mouth breathing without pause is calculated for several different respiratory cycles. The results agree reasonably well with the experimental data.


Total Deposition Breathing Period Aerosol Deposition Alveolar Region Regional Deposition 
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Copyright information

© Society for Mathematical Biology 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. P. Yu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Engineering Science, Aerospace Engineering and Nuclear EngineeringState University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloU.S.A.

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