Journal of Theoretical Medicine
Volume 2 (2000), Issue 3, Pages 199-213

Mathematical Model of Airflow in the Lungs of Children I: Effects of Tumor Sizes and Locations

1Department of Mathematics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
2Department of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710, USA
3Division of Pulmonary Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA

Accepted 9 September 1999

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To contribute to the development of more effective aerosol therapy protocols in pediatric medicine, we examined airflow patterns in the lung of a four-year-old child. In particular, we addressed how the presence of tumors in airways affected the character of airflow patterns. To study the effects of tumors we employed a computational fluid dynamics package, FIDAP, to define flow conditions within a model lung. The results indicated that tumors have a pronounced affect on both (i) localized velocity profiles in airways and (ii) bulk flow distribution within the lung. By identifying the effects of physical factors on flow conditions the findings will lead to improved drug delivery regimens.