Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Research Topics

Research Topics : Fluid Mechanics

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

ASiLung - Towards Air-Breathing Simulations in Realistic Tracheobronchial Geometries of the Normal and the Diseased Lung Period
The aim of this project is to study numerically the flow in a realistic representation of the lung geometry for real breathing conditions. CT scan data are used to model the airway geometry starting from mouth till the first three bronchial bifurcations. The most advanced numerical models namely, Detached Eddy Simulation (DES) and Large Eddy Simulations (LES) are employed to study the fluid-particle dynamics.

This project is an extension of ongoing research initiated in 2005 in a Horizontal Research Action (HRA). In the HRA, the advanced numerical methodologies of DES and LES are developed and applied to the mouth-throat geometry under steady flow conditions. The present project extends the applications to the central airways (with moving boundaries) and to realistic breathing conditions (i.e., unsteady flow with inhalation patterns).

The applications considered are threefold; i) aerosol therapy where particular aerosol devices and aerosol delivery methods will be studied for possible improvements, ii) the behavior of pollutant particles during breathing, with special attention to hot spots in their deposition patterns in view of their negative effects, iii) effect of airway constrictions (e.g., caused by COPD or tumors) on the above.

The innovative components of the proposed project include, i) Use of patient-specific realistic airway geometries based on the CT-scan data, ii) Performing patient-specific PIV measurements for validating the numerical methodologies, iii) Use of advanced numerical methodologies such as LES/DES to accurately predict the fluid-particle dynamics, iv) The study of highly patient specific localization of hot-spots due to continuous insult of toxic particles in diseased lung, v) The use of realistic inhalation profiles with associated airway wall expansion for G1-G3 as well as the larynx. Up

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