Experimental tracking and numerical mapping of novel coronavirus micro-droplet deposition through nasal inhalation in the human respiratory system

Biomech Model Mechanobiol. 2021 Jun;20(3):1087-1100. doi: 10.1007/s10237-021-01434-8. Epub 2021 Mar 1.


It is essential to study the viral droplet's uptake in the human respiratory system to better control, prevent, and treat diseases. Micro-droplets can easily pass through ordinary respiratory masks. Therefore, the SARS-COV-2 transmit easily in conversation with a regular mask with 'silent spreaders' in the most physiological way of breathing through the nose, indoor and at rest condition. The results showed that the amount of deposited micro-droplets in the olfactory epithelium area is low. Also, due to receptors and long droplet residence time in this region, the possibility of absorption increases in the cribriform plate. This phenomenon eventually could lead to brain lesion damage and, in some cases, leads to stroke. In all inlet flow rates lower than 30 L/min inlet boundary conditions, the average percentage of viral contamination for upper respiratory tract is always less than 50% and more than 50% for the lungs. At 6L/min and 15L/min flow rates, the average percentage of lung contamination increases to more than 87%, which due to the presence of the Coronavirus receptor in the lungs, the involvement of the lungs increases significantly. This study's other achievements include the inverse relationship between droplets deposition efficiency in some parts of the upper airway, which have the most deformation in the tract. Also, the increased deformities per minute applied to the trachea and nasal cavity, which is 1.5 times more than usual, could lead to chest and head bothers.

Keywords: CFD; DPM; FSI; Human respiratory system; SARS-COV-2; SLA.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Microbiology
  • Algorithms
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • COVID-19 / diagnostic imaging
  • COVID-19 / transmission*
  • COVID-19 / virology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Inhalation
  • Male
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Models, Biological*
  • Nose / virology
  • Pandemics
  • Particle Size
  • Respiratory Rate
  • Respiratory System / anatomy & histology
  • Respiratory System / diagnostic imaging
  • Respiratory System / virology*
  • SARS-CoV-2* / isolation & purification
  • SARS-CoV-2* / pathogenicity
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed