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, 32 (10), 1198-212

Micron Particle Deposition in a Tracheobronchial Airway Model Under Different Breathing Conditions


Micron Particle Deposition in a Tracheobronchial Airway Model Under Different Breathing Conditions

Kiao Inthavong et al. Med Eng Phys.


Effective management of asthma is dependent on achieving adequate delivery of the drugs into the lung. Inhalers come in the form of dry powder inhalers (DPIs) and metered dose inhalers (pMDIs) with the former requiring a deep fast breath for activation while there are no restrictions on inhalation rates for the latter. This study investigates two aerosol medication delivery methods (i) an idealised case for drug particle delivery under a normal breathing cycle (inhalation-exhalation) and (ii) for an increased effort during the inhalation with a breath hold. A computational model of a human tracheobronchial airway was reconstructed from computerised tomography (CT) scans. The model's geometry and lobar flow distribution were compared with experimental and empirical models to verify the current model. Velocity contours and secondary flow vectors showed vortex formation downstream of the bifurcations which enhanced particle deposition. The velocity contour profiles served as a predictive tool for the final deposition patterns. Different spherical aerosol particle sizes (3-10μm, 1.55g/cm(3)) were introduced into the airway for comparison over a range of Stokes number. It was found that a deep inhalation with a breath hold of 2s did not necessarily increase later deposition up to the sixth branch generation, but rather there was an increase in the deposition in the first few airway generations was found. In addition the breath hold allows deposition by sedimentation which assists in locally targeted deposition. Visualisation of particle deposition showed local "hot-spots" where particle deposition was concentrated in the lung airway.

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