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J Biomech Eng. 2013 Dec;135(12):121003. doi: 10.1115/1.4025332.

Nanoparticle mass transfer from lung airways to systemic regions--Part I: Whole-lung aerosol dynamics.


This is a two-part paper describing inhaled nanoparticle (NP) transport and deposition in a model of a human respiratory tract (Part I) as well as NP-mass transfer across barriers into systemic regions (Part II). Specifically, combining high-resolution computer simulation results of inhaled NP deposition in the human airways (Part I) with a multicompartmental model for NP-mass transfer (Part II) allows for the prediction of temporal NP accumulation in the blood and lymphatic systems as well as in organs. An understanding of nanoparticle transport and deposition in human respiratory airways is of great importance, as exposure to nanomaterial has been found to cause serious lung diseases, while the use of nanodrugs may have superior therapeutic effects. In Part I, the fluid-particle dynamics of a dilute NP suspension was simulated for the entire respiratory tract, assuming steady inhalation and planar airways. Thus, a realistic airway configuration was considered from nose/mouth to generation 3, and then an idealized triple-bifurcation unit was repeated in series and parallel to cover the remaining generations. Using the current model, the deposition of NPs in distinct regions of the lung, namely extrathoracic, bronchial, bronchiolar, and alveolar, was calculated. The region-specific NP-deposition results for the human lung model were used in Part II to determine the multicompartmental model parameters from experimental retention and clearance data in human lungs. The quantitative, experimentally validated results are useful in diverse fields, such as toxicology for exposure-risk analysis of ubiquitous nanomaterial as well as in pharmacology for nanodrug development and targeting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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