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Airflow in the respiratory system has been predominantly studied in rigid ducts. Three-dimensional simulations are computationally expensive. One-dimensional (1-D) modelling offers a good compromise between accuracy and computational cost. In this work we described the propagation of air pulse in a model of human airways using the 1-D equations of flow in compliant vessels. Seven generations of bifurcations, starting from the trachea, were studied. Peripheral airways (from the 8(th) to 23(rd) generation) were modelled using lumped parameter models. Peripheral resistance values for normal and emphysematous lungs were taken from the literature. An acceleration pulse, very short in time, was enforced at the inlet of trachea. The results suggest that compression (positive pressure peaks) and expansion (negative pressure peaks) waves are generated according to the reflection coefficients of the corresponding reflection sites (bifurcations and terminal reflections). Different values for peripheral bronchial resistance generate three different terminal reflections, all negative with different wave amplitudes. The sensitivity of the code to different peripheral resistances suggests that the 1-D formulation is a promising tool for a better understanding of the impact of disease on the velocity and pressure waveforms in the first generations of airway vessels.

Original publication




Journal article


Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc

Publication Date





2473 - 2476


Air Movements, Biophysics, Bronchi, Computer Simulation, Emphysema, Humans, Linear Models, Lung, Normal Distribution, Respiration, Respiratory Mechanics, Respiratory Physiological Phenomena, Software, Time Factors, Trachea