Potential effects of lingual fats on airway flow dynamics and particle deposition

Bingjie Ma, Agisilaos Kourmatzis*, Yongling Zhao, Runyu Yang, Hak-Kim Chan, Fatemeh Salehi, Shaokoon Cheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Fat content on upper airway soft tissue can alter the geometry of the human pharynx, most notably by narrowing the upper airway at the level of the epiglottis. Despite the important role of the epiglottis during respiration, there is a paucity of data on how its geometry can affect airway flow dynamics in an individual. This study shows how the narrowing of the human pharynx from lingual fats can potentially change airway flow dynamics and particle deposition. The velocity flow field in four geometrically realistic upper airway models representing a pharynx with different amounts of lingual fat was simulated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with the baseline case validated using particle image velocimetry (PIV). The deposition of particles was also computed using a standard discrete phase model (DPM) with results showing how particle deposition is affected by the narrowing of the pharynx.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-331
Number of pages11
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number3
Early online date12 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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