The adverse health effects of inhaled particulate matter from the environment depend on its dispersion, transport, and deposition in the human airways. Similarly, precise targeting of deposition sites by pulmonary drug delivery systems also relies on characterizing the dispersion and transport of therapeutic aerosols in the respiratory tract. A variety of mechanisms may contribute to convective dispersion in the lung; simple axial streaming, augmented dispersion, and steady streaming are investigated in this effort. Flow visualization of a bolus during inhalation and exhalation, and dispersion measurements were conducted during steady flow in a three-generational, anatomically accurate in vitro model of the conducting airways to support this goal. Control variables included Reynolds number, flow direction, generation, and branch. Experiments illustrate transport patterns in the lumen cross section and map their relation to dispersion metrics. These results indicate that simple axial streaming, rather than augmented dispersion, is the dominant steady convective dispersion mechanism in symmetric Weibel generations 7–13 during normal respiration. Experimental evidence supports the branching nature of the airways as a possible contributor to steady streaming in the lung.
Convective Dispersion During Steady Flow in the Conducting Airways of the Human Lung
Fresconi, F. E., and Prasad, A. K. (February 20, 2008). "Convective Dispersion During Steady Flow in the Conducting Airways of the Human Lung." ASME. J Biomech Eng. February 2008; 130(1): 011015. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2838042
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