Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has emerged as a useful tool for the prediction of airflow and particle transport within the human lung airway. Several published studies have demonstrated the use of Eulerian finite-volume CFD simulations coupled with Lagrangian particle tracking methods to determine local and regional particle deposition rates in small subsections of the bronchopulmonary tree. However, the simulation of particle transport and deposition in large-scale models encompassing more than a few generations is less common, due in part to the sheer size and complexity of the human lung airway. Highly resolved, fully coupled flowfield solution and particle tracking in the entire lung, for example, is currently an intractable problem and will remain so for the foreseeable future. This paper adopts a previously reported methodology for simulating large-scale regions of the lung airway (Walters, D. K., and Luke, W. H., 2010, “A Method for Three-Dimensional Navier–Stokes Simulations of Large-Scale Regions of the Human Lung Airway,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 132(5), p. 051101), which was shown to produce results similar to fully resolved geometries using approximate, reduced geometry models. The methodology is extended here to particle transport and deposition simulations. Lagrangian particle tracking simulations are performed in combination with Eulerian simulations of the airflow in an idealized representation of the human lung airway tree. Results using the reduced models are compared with those using the fully resolved models for an eight-generation region of the conducting zone. The agreement between fully resolved and reduced geometry simulations indicates that the new method can provide an accurate alternative for large-scale CFD simulations while potentially reducing the computational cost of these simulations by several orders of magnitude.
Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations of Particle Deposition in Large-Scale, Multigenerational Lung Models
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Walters, D. K., and Luke, W. H. (December 22, 2010). "Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations of Particle Deposition in Large-Scale, Multigenerational Lung Models." ASME. J Biomech Eng. January 2011; 133(1): 011003. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4002936
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