Transport and Mixing Induced by Beating Cilia in Human Airways

The fluid transport and mixing induced by beating cilia, present in the bronchial airways, are studied using a coupled lattice Boltzmann-Immersed Boundary solver. This solver allows the simulation of both single and multi-component fluid flows around moving solid boundaries. The cilia aremodeled by a set of Lagrangian points, and Immersed Boundary forces are computed onto these points in order to ensure the no-slip velocity conditions between the cilia and the fluids. The cilia are immersed in a two-layer environment: the periciliary layer (PCL) and the mucus above it. The motion of the cilia is prescribed, as well as the phase lag between two cilia in order to obtain a typical collective motion of cilia, known as metachronal waves. The results obtained from a parametric study show that antiplectic metachronal waves are the most efficient regarding the fluid transport. A specific value of phase lag, which generates the larger mucus transport, is identified. The mixing is studied using several populations of tracers initially seeded into the pericilary liquid, in the mucus just above the PCL-mucus interface, and in the mucus far away from the interface. We observe that each zone exhibits different chaotic mixing properties. The larger mixing is obtained in the PCL layer where only a few beating cycles of the cilia are required to obtain a full mixing, while above the interface, the mixing is weaker and takes more time. Almost no mixing is observed within the mucus, and almost all the tracers do not penetrate the PCL layer. Lyapunov exponents are also computed for specific locations to assess how the mixing is performed locally. Two time scales are introduced to allow a comparison between mixing induced by fluid advection and by molecular diffusion. These results are relevant in the context of respiratory flows to investigate the transport of drugs for patients suffering from chronic respiratory diseases.

Sylvain Chateau, Umberto d'Ortona, Sébastien Poncet, Julien Favier. Transport and Mixing Induced by Beating Cilia in Human Airways. Frontiers in Physiology, 2018, 9, pp.161. ⟨10.3389/fphys.2018.00161⟩. ⟨hal-01875672⟩

Journal: Frontiers in Physiology

Date de publication: 06-03-2018

  • Sylvain Chateau
  • Umberto d'Ortona
  • Sébastien Poncet
  • Julien Favier

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