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iConcept Journal of Computational and Mathematical Biology
iConcept Journal of Computational and Mathematical Biology
Maurice Ling
iConcept Press

iConcept Journal of Computational and Mathematical Biology

An Advanced Mathematical Model of Slow Bronchial Clearance in the Human Respiratory Tract

by Robert Sturm

Volume: 5 (2016); Issue: 2


Bronchial clearance in the human lung is mainly controlled by two mechanisms: Particles deposited on the mucus blanket are cleared via the mucociliary escalator, while particles captured in the periciliary sol phase are subject to a slow bronchial clearance, including time-independent accumulation between the cilia, uptake by airway macrophages, and endocytosis by epithelial cells. In the present contribution, these essential factors of slow bronchial clearance have been summarized in a mechanistic model and formulated mathematically. As underlined by histological studies of bronchial cells, the significance of single slow clearance parameters chiefly depends on the size of inhaled aerosols and the geometry of epithelial cilia. Therefore, small particles are mainly subject to periciliary accumulation and macrophage/epithelial uptake, whereas large particles are either stored between the cilia or re-transferred on the mucus layer after a certain time delay. According to previous publications, the slow clearance fraction has been assumed to increase exponentially from proximal to distal airway generations and to correspond with an increase of mucus discontinuities which are considered as the results of either an arrhythmic secretion of the gland cells or the thinning out and tearing of the mucus blanket due to high-frequent cilia beating. A first application of the generated model allows the quantification of respective slow clearance mechanisms for each airway generation of the tracheobronchial compartment and produces preliminary results showing good agreement with present theories and available experimental data.

Author Details

Robert Sturm
Material Science and Physics, University of Salzburg

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