The mucociliary clearance in the bronchial tree is the main mechanism by which the lungs clear themselves of deposited particulate matter. In this work, a macroscopic model of the clearance mechanism is proposed. Lubrication theory is applied for thin films with both surface tension effects and a moving wall boundary. The flow field is computed by the use of a finite-volume scheme on an unstructured grid that replicates a bronchial bifurcation. The carina in bronchial bifurcations is of special interest because it is a location of increased deposition of inhaled particles. In this study, the mucus flow is computed for different values of the surface tension. It is found that a minimal surface tension is necessary for efficiently removing the mucus while maintaining the mucus film thickness at physiological levels.

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