Deakin University

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Scale resolving simulations of the effect of glottis motion and the laryngeal jet on flow dynamics during respiration

journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-12, 02:44 authored by J Emmerling, S Vahaji, David MortonDavid Morton, DF Fletcher, K Inthavong
Background and Objective: The movement of the respiratory walls has a significant impact on airflow through the respiratory tract. The majority of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies assume a static geometry which may not provide a realistic flow field. Furthermore, many studies use Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) turbulence models that do not resolve turbulence structure. Combining the application of advanced scale-resolving turbulence models with moving respiratory walls using CFD will provide detailed insights into respiratory flow structures. Methods: This study simulated a complete breathing cycle involving inhalation and exhalation in a nasal cavity to trachea geometry that incorporated moving glottis walls. A second breathing cycle was simulated with static glottis walls for comparison. A recently developed hybrid RANS-LES turbulence model, the Stress-Blended Eddy Simulation (SBES), was incorporated to resolve turbulent flow structures in fine detail for both transient simulations. Transient results were compared with steady-state RANS simulations for the same respiratory geometry. Results: Glottis motion caused substantial effects on flow structure through the complete breathing cycle. Significant flow structure and velocity variations were observed due to glottal motion, primarily in the larynx and trachea. Resolved turbulence structures using SBES showed an intense mixing section in the glottis region during inhalation and in the nasopharynx during expiration, which was not present in the RANS simulations. Conclusion: Transient simulations of a realistic breathing cycle uncovered flow structures absent in simulations with a constant flow rate. Furthermore, the incorporation of glottis motion impacted airflow characteristics that suggest rigid respiratory walls do not accurately describe respiratory flow. Future research in respiratory airflow should be conducted using transient scale-resolving models in conjunction with moving respiratory walls to capture flow structures in detail.



Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine



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Elsevier BV