Julie Kimbell
Applications of Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling in the Nasal Passages for Risk Assessment, Drug Delivery, and Surgical Planning

The upper respiratory tract is the portal of entry for inhaled air and anything we breathe in with it. For most of us, the nasal passages do most of the work cleansing, humidifying, and warming inhaled air using a lining of highly vascularized tissue coated with mucus. The nasal epithelium is susceptible to damage from inhaled material, has the potential for systemic absorption of therapeutic drugs, and can adversely affect life quality if deformed or diseased. To understand nasal physiology and the effects of inhaled material on nasal tissue, it is necessary to describe the patterns of airflow, gas uptake and particle deposition in both laboratory animals and humans. This information is often difficult to obtain in vivo but may be estimated with three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models. CFD models of the nasal passages of laboratory animals and humans have been used to make improved human health risk assessments, to help understand surgical interventions in otolaryngology, and to study and optimize nasal drug delivery. This talk gives an overview of some of the nasal airflow modeling that has been done, briefly illustrating how such modeling can help researchers clarify, organize, and understand the complex structure, function, physiology, pathobiology, and utility of the nasal airways.

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