Nasal Architecture: Form and Flow

Denis Doorly, Donal Taylor, Alberto Gambaruto, Robert Schroter, Neil Tolley

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

94 Citations (Scopus)
445 Downloads (Pure)


Current approaches to model nasal airflow are reviewed in this study, and new findings presented. These new results make use of improvements to computational and experimental techniques and resources, which now allow key dynamical features to be investigated, and offer rational procedures to relate variations in anatomical form. Specifically, both replica and simplified airways of a single subject were investigated and compared with the replica airways of two other individuals with overtly differing geometries. Procedures to characterize and compare complex nasal airway geometry are first outlined. It is then shown that coupled computational and experimental studies, capable of obtaining highly resolved data, reveal internal flow structures in both intrinsically steady and unsteady situations. The results presented demonstrate that the intimate relation between nasal form and flow can be explored in greater detail than hitherto possible. By outlining means to compare complex airway geometries and demonstrating the effects of rational geometric simplification on the flow structure, this work offers a fresh approach to studies of how natural conduits guide and control flow. The concepts and tools address issues that are thus generic to flow studies in other physiological systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3225-3246
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number1879
Early online date1 Jul 2008
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2008


  • nasal
  • airflow
  • shape modelling
  • flow visualization
  • particle image velocimetry
  • computation


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