Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 545–553 | Cite as

The Air-Conditioning Capacity of the Human Nose

  • Sara Naftali
  • Moshe Rosenfeld
  • Michael Wolf
  • David EladEmail author


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.


Nasal cavity Airflow Heat transfer Water–vapor exchange 


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Naftali
    • 1
  • Moshe Rosenfeld
    • 2
  • Michael Wolf
    • 3
    • 4
  • David Elad
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Fluid Mechanics, Faculty of EngineeringTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyThe Chaim Sheba Medical CenterTel HashomerIsrael
  4. 4.Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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