Mysteries of respiratory fluid dynamics in the lung depths

Speaker:Professor Josue Sznitman
Affiliation:Department of Biomedical Engineering, Technion
Location:Lidow Rosen Auditorium (323)
Abstract:Due to their microscale dimensions, detailed flow characteristics in the pulmonary acinar region of the lung have often remained difficult to assess experimentally. In turn, major efforts have come from analytical and computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations in models of alveolated airways. These studies have demonstrated the importance of cyclic breathing and wall motion in generating complex time-dependent acinar flow topologies which lead to recirculating flows, kinematic irreversibility and chaotic mixing of inhaled aerosols. With the advent of microfluidics, soft-lithography microfabrication techniques are now paving the way for flow models of acinar airways at their true length-scale. Such strategies offer not only an in vitro platform for detailed acinar flow and aerosol transport studies, they are also providing fluid dynamicists with the opportunity to integrate cellular environments mimicking airways in an effort to integrate both physiological (flow) and biological function. In the present talk, we will discuss the state of the field of acinar fluid dynamics and discuss recent developments from our laboratory using CFD and microfluidic systems to elucidate some of the mysteries of transport in the deep regions of the lungs.