Computational Analysis of Flow Structure and Particle Deposition in a Single Asthmatic Human Airway Bifurcation

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Journal of Biomechanics
Friday, September 17, 2010

This paper aims to improve current understanding of flow structure and particle deposition in asthmatic human airways. A single, symmetric airway bifurcation, corresponding to generations 10–11 of Weibel’s model, is investigated through validated numerical simulations. The parent airway segment is modelled as a smooth circular tube. The child segments are considered asthmatic and their cross-section is modelled as a constricted tube with sinusoidal folds uniformly distributed along the circumference. The flow structure and particle deposition pattern for normal (i.e., healthy) and asthmatic airway bifurcations are compared and discussed. The numerical results reveal that the secondary flow in the asthmatic airway bifurcation is much stronger than in the healthy one, resulting in higher particle deposition. The effects of size of the lumen area and number of folds on particle deposition and pressure drop are also investigated. It is found that particle deposition efficiency is significantly affected by lumen area of the asthmatic segment (the smaller the lumen area, the higher the particle deposition efficiency). The effect of number of folds is small. Particle deposition efficiency also increases with Reynolds number. The pressure drop in the asthmatic airway bifurcation depends mainly on size of the lumen area. The effect of number of folds becomes important for strongly collapsed airways.

2010 Elsevier Ltd
Author Name: 
H. Zhang
G. Papadakis