Deposition of micrometer particles in pulmonary airways during inhalation and breath holding

Yohsuke Imai, Takahito Miki, Takuji Ishikawa, Takayuki Aoki, Takami Yamaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated how breath holding increases the deposition of micrometer particles in pulmonary airways, compared with the deposition during inhalation period. A subject-specific airway model with up to thirteenth generation airways was constructed from multi-slice CT images. Airflow and particle transport were simulated by using GPU computing. Results indicate that breath holding effectively increases the deposition of 5μm particles for third to sixth generation (G3-G6) airways. After 10. s of breath holding, the particle deposition fraction increased more than 5 times for 5μm particles. Due to a small terminal velocity, 1μm particles only showed a 50% increase in the most efficient case. On the other hand, 10μm particles showed almost complete deposition due to high inertia and high terminal velocity, leading to an increase of 2 times for G3-G6 airways. An effective breath holding time for 5μm particle deposition in G3-G6 airways was estimated to be 4-6. s, for which the deposition amount reached 75% of the final deposition amount after 10. s of breath holding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1809-1815
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun 26


  • Aerosol
  • Computational mechanics
  • Drug delivery
  • Lung
  • Subject-specific model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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