Understanding the effects of human epiglottis structure on airflow dynamics using CFD
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 00:10 authored by Lingmeng Li
This thesis is written for the Master of Research Program at Macquarie University, the objective of this project is to understand the real-time respiratory flow in a human upper airway. Airflow in the human upper airway is of paramount importance given its role in the delivery of particles to the human lungs. The structure of the human upper airway plays a critical role in understanding airflow dynamics along the respiratory tracts. Currently, even basic information on how differences in the upper airway geometry effect regional airflow dynamics along the human upper airway is limited. This project aims to study how the epiglottis structure affects the respiratory flow by performing computational fluid dynamics analysis on 3D human upper airway models reconstructed from MRI, and the changes in airflow pattern as a function of epiglottis position and structure will be investigated. This thesis concludes with a discussion of how the position and structure of the epiglottis contributed to the airflow behaviours in the human upper airway, decrease in airway diameter at the level of epiglottis increase velocity significantly which also appears to influence the spatial pressure distribution extensively such that it covers a large region of the upper airway. Emphasis was also given to address the simulation conditions that should be used when performing transient flow simulations in the human upper airway.These results imply a potential change in particles fluidization dynamics in the upper airway given a small change in anatomical structure although further studies need to be performed to understand this is detail.