Computationally efficient analysis of particle transport and deposition in a human whole-lung-airway model. Part II: Dry powder inhaler application

Arun V. Kolanjiyil, Clement Kleinstreuer, Ruxana T. Sadikot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Pulmonary drug delivery is becoming a favored route for administering drugs to treat both lung and systemic diseases. Examples of lung diseases include asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and pulmonary fibrosis. Special respiratory drugs are administered to the lungs, using an appropriate inhaler device. Next to the pressurized metered-dose inhaler (pMDI), the dry powder inhaler (DPI) is a frequently used device because of the good drug stability and a minimal need for patient coordination. Specific DPI-designs and operations greatly affect drug-aerosol formation and hence local lung deposition. Simulating the fluid-particle dynamics after use of a DPI allows for the assessment of drug-aerosol deposition and can also assist in improving the device configuration and operation. In Part I of this study a first-generation whole lung-airway model (WLAM) was introduced and discussed to analyze particle transport and deposition in a human respiratory tract model. In the present Part II the drug-aerosols are assumed to be injected into the lung airways from a DPI mouth-piece, forming the mouth-inlet. The total as well as regional particle depositions in the WLAM, as inhaled from a DPI, were successfully compared with experimental data sets reported in the open literature. The validated modeling methodology was then employed to study the delivery of curcumin aerosols into lung airways using a commercial DPI. Curcumin has been implicated to possess high therapeutic potential as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agent. However, efficacy of curcumin treatment is limited because of the low bioavailability of curcumin when ingested. Hence, alternative drug administration techniques, e.g., using inhalable curcumin-aerosols, are under investigation. Based on the present results, it can be concluded that use of a DPI leads to low lung deposition efficiencies because large amounts of drugs are deposited in the oral cavity. Hence, the output of a modified DPI has been evaluated to achieve improved drug delivery, especially needed when targeting the smaller lung airways. This study is the first to utilize CF-PD methodology to simulate drug-aerosol transport and deposition under actual breathing conditions in a whole lung model, using a commercial dry-powder inhaler for realistic inlet conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-253
Number of pages7
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - May 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Airflow
  • Computational fluid-particle dynamics (CF-PD)
  • Curcumin
  • Dry powder inhaler (DPI)
  • Lung
  • Particle deposition
  • Pharmaceutical aerosols
  • Whole lung-airway modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics


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