Secretion-Removal from the Respiratory System by a Combination of Oscillatory Flow and Acoustic Waves

 In All Presenters, Katoshevski, David


INSTITUTION: Environmental Eng. Unit, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel


Yuval Cavari, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Soroka Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel

Ephraim Gutmark, Aerospace Eng. and Eng. Mechanics Dept., University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati , OH, USA.

Rafael Tadmor, Mechanical Eng. Dept., Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel

Iris Little, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Various airway diseases may lead to partial or complete closure of the airway by accumulation of thick mucus.  This is particularly common in diseases as CF and Bronchiolitis and is dangerous to infants.  Rapid and efficient removal of the mucus blockage is of utmost importance. Intrapulmonary percussive ventilation (IPV) is a high-frequency airway clearance technique used to help in mucus transport for patients. Despite the many years of usage, this technique does not provide clear evidence of its intended efficacy. This is mainly attributable to the lack of in vitro observations that show “mucokinesis” towards the direction of the mouth. This work suggests a mechanism for rapid defragmentation of the secretion/mucus and demonstrate its efficiency in a lab setup.

METHOD: The dynamics of these non-Newtonian secretions is investigated when they are subjected to flow and acoustic manipulations, applying experimental analysis and numerical simulations. A synergistic effect associated with the combination of the two kinds of waves is demonstrated with a lab setup.

RESULTS: We demonstrate and subsequently propose a mechanism that details the movement of a mucus simulant in the proximal/upstream (towards the mouthpiece) direction. A novel method utilizing a high-frequency acoustic field in addition to the conventional air pulsations brought forth by traditional IPV is proposed. Under these conditions, at certain parameter settings, it is shown that the simulant is rapidly penetrated, broken down into small parts and subsequently pushed in the upstream direction.

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