How Nanoparticle Aerosols Transport through Multi-Stenosis Sections of Upper Airways: A CFD-DPM Modelling

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Atmosphere, 13, (8), pp. 1192-1192
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Airway stenosis is a global respiratory health problem that is caused by airway injury, endotracheal intubation, malignant tumor, lung aging, or autoimmune diseases. A precise understanding of the airflow dynamics and pharmaceutical aerosol transport through the multi-stenosis airways is vital for targeted drug delivery, and is missing from the literature. The object of this study primarily relates to behaviors and nanoparticle transport through the multi-stenosis sections of the trachea and upper airways. The combination of a CT-based mouth–throat model and Weibel’s model was adopted in the ANSYS FLUENT solver for the numerical simulation of the Euler–Lagrange (E-L) method. Comprehensive grid refinement and validation were performed. The results from this study indicated that, for all flow rates, a higher velocity was usually found in the stenosis section. The maximum velocity was found in the stenosis section having a 75% reduction, followed by the stenosis section having a 50% reduction. Increasing flow rate resulted in higher wall shear stress, especially in stenosis sections. The highest pressure was found in the mouth–throat section for all flow rates. The lowest pressure was usually found in stenosis sections, especially in the third generation. Particle escape rate was dependent on flow rate and inversely dependent on particle size. The overall deposition efficiency was observed to be significantly higher in the mouth–throat and stenosis sections compared to other areas. However, this was proven to be only the case for a particle size of 1 nm. Moreover, smaller nanoparticles were usually trapped in the mouth–throat section, whereas larger nanoparticle sizes escaped through the lower airways from the left side of the lung; this accounted for approximately 50% of the total injected particles, and 36% escaped from the right side. The findings of this study can improve the comprehensive understanding of airflow patterns and nanoparticle deposition. This would be beneficial in work with polydisperse particle deposition for treatment of comprehensive stenosis with specific drugs under various disease conditions.
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