Publication Abstract

Efficient, Physiologically Realistic Lung Airflow Simulations

Walters, K., Burgreen, GW, Lavallee, D. M., Thompson, D., & Hester, R. L. (2011). Efficient, Physiologically Realistic Lung Airflow Simulations. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering Letters: Special Issue on Multi-Scale Modeling and Analysis for Computational Biology and Medicine. 58(10), 3016-3019. DOI:10.1109/TBME.2011.2161868.


One of the key challenges for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of human lung airflow is the sheer size and complexity of the complete, multiscale geometry of the bronchopulmonary tree. Since 3-D CFD simulations of the full airway tree are currently intractable, researchers have proposed reduced geometry models in which multiple airway paths are truncated downstream of the first few generations. This paper investigates a recently proposed method for closing the CFD model by application of physiologically correct boundary conditions at truncated outlets. A realistic, reduced geometry model of the lung airway based on CT data has been constructed up to generation 18, including extrathoracic, bronchi, and bronchiole regions. Results indicate that the new method yields reasonable results for pressure drop through the airway, at a small fraction of the cost of fully resolved simulations.