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Effect of Parenchymal Tethering on the Steady Propagation of a Liquid Plug in a Flexible Airway Model

[+] Author Affiliations
Hideki Fujioka, James B. Grotberg

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

David Halpern

The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

Paper No. SBC2007-176373, pp. 487-488; 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


Surface tension on an air-liquid interface induces liquid flows, which may cause the lung’s airways to close due to the formation of a liquid plug as a result of drainage of the liquid lining coating the airways. Formation of the plug occurs more frequently when lung-surfactant availability is reduced. [1] Mechanical stresses due to fluid motion cause pulmonary epithelial cells to be damaged. [2, 3] Our previous studies for plug propagation in a rigid wall channel show that mechanical stresses are significantly large in the front transition region of the plug compared to the rear transition region. [7, 8] Pulmonary airways are flexible tubes which are surrounded by elastic parenchyma. In this study, the steady propagation of a liquid plug in a flexible tube is investigated numerically and mechanical stresses acting on the epithelial cells are estimated.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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