In this study, deposition fraction of ellipsoidal particles in a 3D-Model of the nasal cavity (right airway) of a 24-year-old healthy woman was simulated for laminar and turbulent inhalation flow rates. The geometry used included the main nasal cavity from the nostril to the beginning of nasopharynx and was constructed in the Ansys-ICEM software from a CT scan image. The numerical simulations of governing equations were obtained using the Ansys-Fluent software. The mean airflow was assumed to be incompressible and steady. For turbulence modeling, the Realizable k-ε model was employed and the Lagrangian trajectory analysis method was used for particle tracking. For evaluating the ellipsoidal particle motions, several user-defined functions (UDFs) were developed and linked to the discrete phase model of the Ansys-Fluent code. The developed UDFs solve for the coupled translational and rotational equations of motion for ellipsoidal fibers and also accounts for the stochastic modeling of turbulence velocity fluctuations. The hydrodynamic forces and torques were calculated based on the non-creeping formulations for various ellipsoidal fibers. Laminar flow condition was assumed for breathing rate of 5.0 lit/min for the rest or light physical activities and turbulent flow condition was assumed for airflow rate of 20 lit/min for high physical activities. To investigate the dispersion and deposition of particles in the model of the human nasal cavity, various fibers with a semi-minor axis of 1, 3, 5 and 10 μm and various aspect ratios were considered.
Using the non-creeping flow formulation for hydrodynamic forces and torques, the simulation results showed slight differences in the total deposition fraction of ellipsoidal fibers compared with the corresponding creeping flow model. Small fibers deposit roughly uniformly in the nasal cavity with no hotspot region. For the large inertial fibers, however, the nasal valve is a hot spot region, where the deposition rate reaches to its peak.