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Effects of Surface Smoothness on Inertial Particle Deposition in Human Nasal Models. J Aerosol Sci 2011 Jan 01;42(1):52-63



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Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) predictions of inertial particle deposition have not compared well with data from nasal replicas due to effects of surface texture and the resolution of tomographic images. To study effects of geometric differences between CFD models and nasal replicas, nasal CFD models with different levels of surface smoothness were reconstructed from the same MRI data used to construct the nasal replica used by Kelly et al. (2004) [Aerosol Sci. Technol. 38:1063-1071]. One CFD model in particular was reconstructed without any surface smoothing to preserve the detailed topology present in the nasal replica. Steady-state inspiratory airflow and Lagrangian particle tracking were simulated using Fluent software. Particle deposition estimates from the smoother models under-predicted nasal deposition from replica casts, which was consistent with previous findings. These discrepancies were overcome by including surface artifacts that were not present in the reduced models and by plotting deposition efficiency versus the Stokes number, where the characteristic diameter was defined in terms of the pressure-flow relationship to account for changes in airflow resistance due to wall roughness. These results indicate that even slight geometric differences have significant effects on nasal deposition and that this information should be taken into account when comparing particle deposition data from CFD models with experimental data from nasal replica casts.

Author List

Schroeter JD, Garcia GJ, Kimbell JS


Guilherme Garcia PhD Assistant Professor in the Biomedical Engineering department at Medical College of Wisconsin

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