PMID: 4008510Jan 1, 1985

A mechanical approach to the longitudinal dispersion of gas flowing in human airways

Journal of Biomechanics
A Ben Jebria


The aim of this work is to contribute to elucidating the mechanism underlying gas mixing in the human pulmonary airways. For this purpose, a particular attempt is made to analyse the fluid mechanical aspects of gaseous dispersion using bolus response methods. The experiments were performed on five normal subjects by injection of 10 cm3 bolus of He, Ar and SF6 into the latter part of the inspired airstream, in such a way that the whole bolus entered the inspiratory flow and was recovered during the following expiration. The results, presented in a logarithmic plot of dimensionless variance (dispersion of the output bolus) against the Peclet number, show that gaseous dispersion is only slightly dependent on the nature of the tracer gas but is strongly related to flow velocity. This is in agreement with the theory of turbulent or disturbed dispersion; however, it seems that Taylor laminar dispersion does not play a significant role in the airways.


Jun 1, 1977·Respiration Physiology·H D Van Liew, R W Mazzone
Mar 1, 1975·Respiration Physiology·C P Yu
Sep 1, 1972·The Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics·P W SchererN M Greene


May 1, 1994·Annals of Biomedical Engineering·J D SchwardtP W Scherer
Nov 1, 1987·Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing·A Ben Jebria, C Kays
Jul 21, 1999·Journal of Biomechanical Engineering·D M Eckmann

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Airway Resistance
Pulmonary Gas Exchange
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