Numerical simulations investigating the regional and overall deposition efficiency of the human nasal cavity

Inhal Toxicol. 2008 Sep;20(12):1093-100. doi: 10.1080/08958370802130379.


Numerical simulations have been carried out on a model of the right passageway of an anonymous, adult male's nasal cavity, constructed from magnetic resonance imagery (MRI) scans. Steady, laminar, inspiratory flow was assumed to simulate inhalation. Analysis shows smoothly varying streamlines with a peak in velocity magnitude occurring in the nasal valves and a peak in vorticity magnitude immediately posterior. Dilute, uniform concentrations of inertial (1 microm < or = d(ae) < or = 10 microm) particles were released at the nostril and tracked via a Lagrangian tracking algorithm. Deposition efficiency is shown to increase with particle size and flow rate. Preferential deposition is seen in the anterior third of the nasal cavity for large Stokes number particles. An empirical expression for particle deposition is proposed that incorporates particle size, flow rate, and nose anatomy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adult
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Nasal Cavity / anatomy & histology*
  • Nasal Cavity / metabolism*
  • Particle Size
  • Pulmonary Ventilation / physiology