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Deposition of charged nano-particles in the human airways including effects from cartilaginous rings

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DOI: 10.4236/ns.2011.310113    4,512 Downloads   7,713 Views   Citations


This paper presents a numerical study of the deposition of spherical charged nano-particles caused by convection, Brownian diffusion and electrostatics in a pipe with a cartilaginous ring structure. The model describes the deposition of charged particles in the different generations of the tracheobronchial tree of the human lung. The upper airways are characterized by a certain wall structure called cartilaginous rings which modify the particle deposition when compared to an airway with a smooth wall. The problem is defined by solving Naver-Stokes equations in combination with a convective-diffusion equation and Gauss law for electrostatics. Three non- dimensional parameters describe the problem, the Peclet number Pe = 2ūa/D , the Reynolds number Re = ūa/v and an electrostatic parameter α=α2c0q2/(4ε0κT) . Here U is the mean velocity, a the pipe radius and D the diffusion coefficient due to Brownian motion given by D=κTCu/3πμd , where Cu is the Cunningham-factor Cu=1+λ/d(2.34+1.05exp(-0.39d/λ)) Here d is the particle diameter and λ the mean free path of the air molecules. Results are provided for generations G4-G16 of the human airways. The electrostatic parameter is varied to model different concentrations and charge numbers.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Akerstedt, H. (2011) Deposition of charged nano-particles in the human airways including effects from cartilaginous rings. Natural Science, 3, 884-888. doi: 10.4236/ns.2011.310113.


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