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Effect of Inhaling Patterns on Aerosol Drug Delivery: CFD Simulation

[+] Author Affiliations
Jinho Kim, Jim S. Chen

Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Paper No. IMECE2008-66685, pp. 83-91; 9 pages
  • ASME 2008 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 2: Biomedical and Biotechnology Engineering
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, October 31–November 6, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4863-0 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3840-2
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


Inhaled Pharmaceutical Aerosols (IPAs) delivery has great potential in treatment of a variety of respiratory diseases, including asthma, pulmonary diseases, and allergies. Aerosol delivery has many advantages. It delivers medication directly to where it is needed and it is effective in much lower doses than required for oral administration. Currently, there are several types of IPA delivery systems, including pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI), the dry powder inhaler (DPI), and the medical nebulizer. IPAs should be delivered deep into the respiratory system where the drug substance can be absorbed into blood through the capillaries via the alveoli. Researchers have proved that most aerosol particles with aerodynamic diameter of about 1–5 μm, if slowly and deeply inhaled, could be deposited in the peripheral regions that are rich in alveoli [1–3]. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of various inhaling rates with breath-holding pause on the aerosol deposition (Dp = 0.5–5 μm) in a human upper airway model extending from mouth to 3rd generation of trachea. The oral airway model is three dimensional and non-planar configurations. The dimensions of the model are adapted from a human cast. The air flow is assumed to be unsteady, laminar, and incompressible. The investigation is carried out by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) using the software Fluent 6.2. The user-defined function (UDF) is employed to simulate the cyclic inspiratory flows for different IPA inhalation patterns. When an aerosol particle enters the mouth respiratory tract, its particles experience abrupt changes in direction. The secondary flow changes its direction as the airflow passes curvature. Intensity of the secondary flow is strong after first bend at pharynx and becomes weaker after larynx. In flow separation, a particle can be trapped and follow the eddy and deposit on the surface. Particle deposition fraction generally increases as particle size and inhaling airflow velocity increase.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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