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Open Access Particle Deposition in a Cast of Human Tracheobronchial Airways

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Regional particle deposition efficiency and deposition patterns were studied experimentally in a human airway replica made from an adult cadaver. The replica includes the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, trachea, and four generations of bronchi. This study reports deposition results in the tracheobronchial (TB) region. Nine different sizes of monodispersed, polystyrene latex fluorescent particles in the size range of 0.93–30 ┬Ám were delivered into the lung cast with the flow rates of 15, 30, and 60 l min - 1 . Deposition in the TB region appeared to increase with the increasing flow rate and particle size. Comparison of deposition data obtained from physical casts showed agreement with results obtained from realistic airway replicas that included the larynx. Deposition data obtained from idealized airway models or replicas showed lower deposition efficiency. We also compared experimental data with theoretical models based on a simplified bend and bifurcation model. A deposition equation derived from these models was used in a lung dosimetry model for inhaled particles, and we demonstrated that there was general agreement with theoretical models. However, the agreement was not consistent over the large range of Stokes number. The deposition efficiency was found as a function of the Stokes number, bifurcation angle, and the diameters of parent and daughter tubes. An empirical model was developed for the particle deposition efficiency in the TB region based on the experimental data. This model, combined with the oral deposition model developed previously, can be used to predict the particle deposition for inertial effects with improved accuracy.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/027868291001385

Affiliations: Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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