This work studies a model for milk transport through lactating human breast ducts and describes mathematically the mass transfer from alveolar sacs through the mammary ducts to the nipple. In this model, both the phenomena of diffusion in the sacs and conventional flow in ducts have been considered. The ensuing analysis reveals that there is an optimal range of bifurcation numbers leading to the easiest milk flow based on the minimum flow resistance. This model formulates certain difficult-to-measure values like diameter of the alveolar sacs and the total length of the milk path as a function of easy-to-measure properties such as milk fluid properties and macroscopic measurements of the breast. Alveolar dimensions from breast tissues of six lactating women are measured and reported in this paper. The theoretically calculated alveoli diameters for optimum milk flow (as a function of bifurcation numbers) show excellent match with our biological data on alveolar dimensions. Also, the mathematical model indicates that for minimum milk flow resistance the glandular tissue must be within a short distance from the base of the nipple, an observation that matches well with the latest anatomical and physiological research.

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