Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2010

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Ching-Long Lin

Second Advisor

Patrick T. O'Shaughnessy

First Committee Member

Ching-Long Lin

Second Committee Member

Patrick T O'Shaughnessy

Third Committee Member

James H Buchholz


Regional deposition and ventilation of particles by generation, lobe and lung during steady inhalation in a computed tomography (CT) based human airway model are investigated numerically. The airway model consists of a seven-generation human airway tree, with oral cavity, pharynx and larynx. The turbulent flow in the upper respiratory tract is simulated by large-eddy simulation. The flow boundary conditions at the peripheral airways are derived from CT images at two lung volumes to produce physiologically-realistic regional ventilation. Particles with diameter less than 2.5 microns are selected for study because smaller particles tend to penetrate to the more distal parts of the lung. The current generational particle deposition efficiencies agree well with existing measurement data. Generational deposition efficiencies exhibit similar dependence on particle Stokes number regardless of generation, whereas deposition and ventilation efficiencies vary by lobe and lung, depending on airway morphology and airflow ventilation. In particular, regardless of particle size, the left lung receives a greater proportion of the particle bolus as compared to the right lung in spite of greater flow ventilation to the right lung. This observation is supported by the left-right lung asymmetry of particle ventilation observed in medical imaging. It is found that the particle-laden turbulent laryngeal jet flow, coupled with the unique geometrical features of the airway, causes a disproportionate amount of particles to enter the left lung.


Aerosols, CFD, Computed Tomography airways, Deposition, human lungs, Particle tracking


vi, 60 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 31-34).


Copyright 2010 Andrew Ryan Lambert