Flow features and micro-particle deposition in a human respiratory system during sniffing

Hadrien Calmet, Guillaume Houzeaux, Mariano Vázquez, Beatriz Eguzkitza, Alberto Gambaruto, Alister Bates, Denis Doorly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
170 Downloads (Pure)


As we inhale, the air drawn through our nose undergoes successive accelerations and decelerations as it is turned, split and recombined before splitting again at the end of the trachea as it enters the bronchi. Fully describing the dynamic behaviour of the airflow and how it transports inhaled particles poses a severe challenge to computational simulations. In this paper we explore two aspects: the dynamic behaviour of airflow during a rapid inhalation (or sniff) and the transport of inhaled aerosols. The development of flow unsteadiness from a laminar state at entry to the nose through to the turbulent character of tracheal flow is resolved using accurate numerical models with high performance computing-based large scale simulations. Combining the flow solution with a Lagrangian computation reveals the effects of flow behaviour and airway geometry on the deposition of inhaled microparticles. Improved modelling of airflow and delivery of therapeutic aerosols could be applied to improve diagnosis and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-184
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Aerosol Science
Early online date26 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


  • Respiratory tract
  • Particle transport/deposition
  • Computational fluid-particle dynamics


Dive into the research topics of 'Flow features and micro-particle deposition in a human respiratory system during sniffing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this