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Finite Element Analysis of Clinical Pressure-Flow Waveforms in a Collapsed Respiratory Airway

[+] Author Affiliations
E. David Bell

Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA

Samir N. Ghadiali

Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PAChildren’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Paper No. SBC2007-175329, pp. 309-310; 2 pages
  • ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • Keystone, Colorado, USA, June 20–24, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4798-5
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


Otitis media (OM) is the most commonly diagnosed disorder in young children and cost the US economy ∼$5 billion dollars annually[1]. Although the primary etiology responsible for the persistence of OM conditions is a dysfunctional Eustachian tube (ET), the biomechanical mechanisms responsible for ET dysfunction are not well established. The ET is a collapsible, respiratory airway which connects the nasopharynx with the middle ear (ME). The ET normally exists in a closed state and must be periodically opened in order to clear ME fluids and ventilate the ME. The inability to open the ET results in painful sub-ambient ME pressures, fluid accumulation in the ME and the inflammation of the ME mucosa (i.e. OM).

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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