Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. P. Worth Longest


The dynamics of particle laden flows are integral to the analysis of toxic particle deposition and medical respiratory aerosol delivery. Computational fluid-particle dynamics (CFPD) can play a critical role in developing a better understanding of particle laden flows, especially in a number of under-explored areas. The applications considered in this study include both the numerical aspects and the physical phenomena of respiratory aerosol transport. Objective I: Considering the effects of mesh type and grid convergence, four commonly implemented mesh styles were applied to a double bifurcation respiratory geometry and tested for flow patterns and aerosol deposition. Results indicated that the mesh style employed had a significant effect on the transport and deposition of aerosols with hexahedral meshes being most accurate. Objective II: In order to evaluate the effects of bronchoconstriction under exhalation conditions, normal and constricted pediatric airway models were considered. Results include (i) a significant increase in deposition for constricted airways, and (ii) a novel correlation for deposition during exhalation based on the Dean and Stokes numbers. Objective IIIa: Considering evaluation of an aerosol size sampler, an eight-stage Andersen cascade impactor (ACI) was numerically analyzed. The numerical simulations indicated high non-uniformity and recirculation in the flow field. Numerical predictions of retention fraction matched well with existing experiments (0.5 – 11% error). Objective IIIb: As an extension to this study, numerical predictions of electrostatic charge effects on aerosol transport and deposition in the ACI were presented. Charges consistent with standard pharmaceutical pressurized metered dose inhalers and dry powder inhalers were considered. The numerical predictions indicated that charged aerosols deposit as if they were 5 – 85% larger due to electrostatic effects. Applications of the studies considered include (i) quantitative guidance in selecting numerical mesh styles and development of standard grid convergence criteria, (ii) the development of more accurate whole-lung deposition models that better evaluate exhalation conditions,(iii) improvements in the design of pharmaceutical assessment and delivery devices, and (vi) correction values to account for electrostatic charge on pharmaceutical aerosols.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Engineering Commons