Airflows in the nasal cavities and oral airways are rather complex, possibly featuring a transition to turbulent jet-like flow, recirculating flow, Dean's flow, vortical flows, large pressure drops, prevailing secondary flows, and merging streams in the case of exhalation. Such complex flows propagate subsequently into the tracheobronchial airways. The underlying assumptions for particle transport and deposition are that the aerosols are spherical, noninteracting, and monodisperse and deposit upon contact with the airway surface. Such dilute particle suspensions are typically modeled with the Euler-Lagrange approach for micron particles and in the Euler-Euler framework for nanoparticles. Micron particles deposit nonuniformly with very high concentrations at some local sites (e.g., carinal ridges of large bronchial airways). In contrast, nanomaterial almost coats the airway surfaces, which has implications of detrimental health effects in the case of inhaled toxic nanoparticles. Geometric airway features, as well as histories of airflow fields and particle distributions, may significantly affect particle deposition.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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