Jiawei Ma1, Wei-Chung Su This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.2, Yi Chen2, Yidan Shang3, Jingliang Dong3, Jiyuan Tu3, Lin Tian This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1

1 School of Engineering – Mechanical and Automotive, RMIT University, Bundoora, VIC, Australia
2 School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, The University of Texas - Health Science Center at Houston, TX, USA
3 School of Engineering – Mechanical and Automotive, RMIT University, Bundoora, VIC, Australia

Received: January 12, 2020
Revised: April 10, 2020
Accepted: June 16, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.01.0015 

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Cite this article:

Ma, J., Su, W.C., Chen, Y., Shang, Y., Dong, J., Tu, J. and Tian, L. (2020). A Combined Computational and Experimental Study on Nanoparticle Transport and Partition in Human Trachea and Upper Bronchi Airways. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.01.0015



Aerosol transport and deposition in human respiratory airways has been an important research area in past few decades. It elucidated the toxicity pathways of inhaled pollutant, and facilitated the design of efficient drug delivery systems for targeted treatment. Due to complexity of the human tracheobronchial tree, experimental studies in-vivo/in-vitro were extremely limited. Details on the airflow and particle dynamics were predominantly from computational investigations. With rapid advancing in medical imaging and computing capacities, sophisticated human tracheobronchial trees up to the 6th, 7th and 15th generation were increasingly seen in literature. Of the 2 most frequently employed airway modelling approaches (anatomical reconstruction versus mathematical idealized modeling), detailed fundamental analysis on morphology induced sensitivity for particle and flow partition, particle deposition in airway branches, critical for further development in the field, are needed. This study performed a combined numerical and experimental investigation on nanoparticle transport, deposition and partition in human upper tracheobronchial airways. An anatomical realistic airway reconstruction via CT scans and a mathematical simplified airway model were developed, where fine details accounting for the trachea irregularity and new boundary consideration mimicking lobar bronchi air partition towards flow and particle dynamics were emphasized in the numerical simulation. In parallel to the computational investigation, an experimental setup was developed, where deposition and penetration of sodium chloride (NaCl) nanoparticles in the corresponding pair of anatomical and idealized airway models were measured. The computational predictions were compared with experimental measurement, general agreement and valuable information were obtained.

Keywords: Airway morphology; Nanoparticles transport, deposition and partition; Tracheobronchial tree; Computational modeling; Experimental measurement.

Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20:-. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.01.0015 

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