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Three-Dimensional Diffusion of Carbon Monoxide in an Alveolar Capillary

[+] Author Affiliations
Ali A. Merrikh

University of Texas SW Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, TX

José L. Lage

Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX

Paper No. HT2005-72400, pp. 877-879; 3 pages
  • ASME 2005 Summer Heat Transfer Conference collocated with the ASME 2005 Pacific Rim Technical Conference and Exhibition on Integration and Packaging of MEMS, NEMS, and Electronic Systems
  • Heat Transfer: Volume 1
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 17–22, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division and Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4731-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3762-9
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Theoretical capillary gas exchange models available in the literature are limited to either two-dimensional or axisymmetric configurations. The present study investigates shortcomings of a two-dimensional capillary CO-gas transfer model by comparing it to a more realistic three-dimensional configuration. Numerical results from both models, compared to measurements obtained experimentally via the rebreathing technique, demonstrate that CO-diffusion model results are strongly affected when a third dimension is included. The effect of including a third dimension is to increase the gas exchange from the alveolar region into the RBCs, due to a larger gas diffusion surface within the capillary, leading to a significant increase in the resulting CO diffusing capacity. The results also show a better agreement between the experimental results and the numerical results obtained with the three-dimensional model than with the two-dimensional model. Finally, the strong sensitivity of the results vis-à-vis the domain lengths (keeping the capillary volume constant) highlight the importance of considering the three-dimensional capillary morphology very carefully.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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