Chun-Chih Chuang1, Justus Kavita Mutuku2,3, Chih-Che Chueh This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Anurita Selvarajoo4, Wei-Hsin Chen  1,5,6

1 Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan701, Taiwan
2 Institute of Environmental Toxin and Emerging-Contaminant, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung 833301, Taiwan
3 Super Micro Mass Research and Technology Centre, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung 833301, Taiwan
4 Department of Civil Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia, Jalan Broga, Semenyih 43500, Selangor, Malaysia
5 Research Center for Smart Sustainable Circular Economy, Tunghai University, Taichung 407, Taiwan
6 Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Chin-Yi University of Technology, Taichung 411, Taiwan

Received: November 13, 2022
Revised: March 26, 2023
Accepted: April 15, 2023

 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.

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Chuang, C.C., Mutuku, J.K., Chueh, C.C., Selvarajoo, A., Chen, W.H. (2023). Fine Particulate Matter Deposition in 3D Out-of-Plane Bifurcation Lung Airway. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 23, 220392.


  • Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) deposition in lung airways is predicted.
  • A 3D out-of-plane bifurcations airways (G8–G12) of Weibel model is developed.
  • G8+B8-9 has the highest deposition fractions as a consequence of high inertial impact.
  • The total DFs are inversely proportional to the Stokes number.
  • There is an increasing trend for the total DFs as the particle size decreases.


Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) produced from traffic-loaded urban areas, combustion processes during industrial processes, and dust resuspension during mechanical disturbances may cause considerable health hazards when it is inhaled, owing to an enhanced accumulation of this particulate material in the lung. While the in-plane airway structures of human lungs are usually used in numerical models, a 3D out-of-plane layout that can geometrically represent triple bifurcations airways of the so-called Weibel model is developed in the present study with the presence of fine particles inside. For in-plane airways, the centerlines of all generations always lie on the same plane. In contrast, 3D out-of-plane is typical of the centerline of each descendant generation that rotates 90° to the centerline of its grandmother generation. Given three different breathing conditions, ranging between 15 L min1 and 60 L min–1, the sizes of the deposition particles considered herein vary from 0.3 µm to 0.75 µm. The numerical results are discussed in terms of the airflow patterns (e.g., streamlines and velocity contours and vectors), the particle deposition patterns, deposition fractions (DFs) in different sections of the lung, the correlation between Stokes number and total DFs, and the correlation between the total DFs and the PM2.5 diameters. The predictions in Generations 8 to 12 (G8–G12) reveal that deposition fractions (DFs) increase with respiration frequency and intensity. It is also observed that the more anterior the bronchus is, the more significant the particle deposition is, regardless of the respiratory state. Also, the total DF tends to increase as the particle size decreases. This will lead to the development of subsequent tracheal atrophy.

Keywords: Bifurcation airways, Fine particulate matter (PM2.5), Out-of-plane, Computational fluid dynamics (CFD), Aerosol, Particle deposition

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