Numerical Analysis of Energy Density Distribution in the Human Lungs Under Low-Frequency Acoustic Excitation
AbstractAccording to the 2018 annual report of Canada, 3.8 million people are living with asthma, and 2 million are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), both of which can impact a person's ability to breathe because of excessive mucus accumulation in bronchioles. However, most people with COPD can achieve reasonable symptoms to control and quality of life with the help of an acoustic airway clearance device, which supplies vibrations to act on bronchial mucus's viscoelastic, shear-thinning, and thixotropic properties, liquefying it to ease expectoration. Yet since, no 3D complex and whole thorax geometry is used to understand and/or optimize the lungs' behaviour numerically. This study aims at investigating the human lungs under airway clearance therapy (ACT) with a 3D validated realistic computed tomography-based numerical finite element analysis CT/FEA of the human thorax. We study the lungs under ACT in the frequency domain (5-100 Hz) using COMSOL 6.1 Multiphysics®. Results show that the lungs are most affected at approximately 30 Hz, which is consistent with former experimental studies. Furthermore, the mean value of the strain energy density follows the mean value of kinetic energy density by 32 Hz. Therefore, this study provides valuable insights into optimizing treatment for respiratory conditions.
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