The Air-Conditioning Capacity of the Human Nose
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The nose is the front line defender of the respiratory system. Unsteady simulations in three-dimensional models have been developed to study transport patterns in the human nose and its overall air-conditioning capacity. The results suggested that the healthy nose can efficiently provide about 90% of the heat and the water fluxes required to condition the ambient inspired air to near alveolar conditions in a variety of environmental conditions and independent of variations in internal structural components. The anatomical replica of the human nose showed the best performance and was able to provide 92% of the heating and 96% of the moisture needed to condition the inspired air to alveolar conditions. A detailed analysis explored the relative contribution of endonasal structural components to the air-conditioning process. During a moderate breathing effort, about 11% reduction in the efficacy of nasal air-conditioning capacity was observed.
KeywordsNasal cavity Airflow Heat transfer Water–vapor exchange
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