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Fluid Stress Analysis During Airway Closure

[+] Author Affiliations
Cheng-Feng Tai, James B. Grotberg

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

David Halpern

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

Paper No. SBC2009-206840, pp. 467-468; 2 pages
  • ASME 2009 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • ASME 2009 Summer Bioengineering Conference, Parts A and B
  • Lake Tahoe, California, USA, June 17–21, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4891-3
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


A thin annular film lining the inside of a rigid tube is modeled as a liquid-lined airway in this study. Due to the capillary instability, the liquid film can form a plug and obstruct the airway once the ratio of the film thickness to tube radius, ε, is greater than a critical value ∼0.12. The dynamics of the closure process is simulated for a Newtonian viscous film with constant surface tension and a passive core gas phase. The numerical simulation employs the finite volume approach with a sharp interface method for the free surface. The computational results show that the wall shear stress and normal stress during closure can be strong enough to injure airway epithelial cells.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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