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Tessellation-based modeling and flow simulation of pulmonary acinus with alveolar pore

Yongjun Jin (School of Building Services Science and Engineering, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi’an, China)
Haihang Cui (School of Building Services Science and Engineering, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi’an, China)
Li Chen (School of Building Services Science and Engineering, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi’an, China)
Kai Sun (Microwave Device and Integrated Circuits Laboratory, Institute of Microelectronics of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China)
Haiguo Yin (School of Building Services Science and Engineering, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi’an, China)
Zhe Liu (School of Building Services Science and Engineering, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi’an, China)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Article publication date: 19 May 2022

Issue publication date: 3 January 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to perform flow simulations inside the acinus with fine alveolar pores (Kohn pores) using hexagonal cells and bottom-up geometric modeling, which enabled the elimination of invalid voids using previous top-bottom methods and spherical or circular cells.

Design/methodology/approach

Regular hexagonal cells were used to construct alveoli with no gaps via tessellation. Some hexagonal cells were fused to eliminate the inner boundaries to represent the structure of the bronchial tree. For the remaining hexagonal cells, the side lengths of the shared walls were adjusted to construct alveolar pores. Periodic moving boundaries with the same phase were set for all walls to describe synchronous contraction and expansion of the bronchi and alveoli.

Findings

More realistic flow characteristics in the distal lung were obtained. The effects of pore size and the mechanism of auxiliary ventilation of alveolar pores were revealed.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first numerical simulation study on the function of multiple alveolar pores at the level of pulmonary acini, which will be helpful for simulating the dynamic process of cough and sputum excretion in the future.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Ethics statement: This study does not contain any studies involving human or animal participants.

Funding: This work was supported by the Natural Science Basic Research Plan in Shaanxi Province, China (grant no. 2020JM-479) and the Key Research and Development Program of Shaanxi Province (grant no. 2021ZDLSF05-04). The funders had no role in study design, data collection, or analysis.

Citation

Jin, Y., Cui, H., Chen, L., Sun, K., Yin, H. and Liu, Z. (2023), "Tessellation-based modeling and flow simulation of pulmonary acinus with alveolar pore", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 42-64. https://doi.org/10.1108/HFF-12-2021-0801

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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