Deposition patterns of inhaled radon decay products in human bronchial airway bifurcations

W. Hofmann, T. Heistracher, I. Balásházy

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

8 Citations (Scopus)


Particle deposition patterns within three-dimensional models of human bronchial airway bifurcations are simulated by a numerical fluid dynamics and particle trajectory model. The three geometric models of a segmental bronchial airway bifurcation, employed in the present study, are: 1) a symmetric 'idealized bifurcation model', 2) a symmetric 'physiologically realistic bifurcation model'; and, 3) an asymmetric 'idealized bifurcation model'. Inspiratory deposition patterns for 1 nm (unattached radon progeny), 10 nm (ultrafine radon progeny), and 200 nm (attached radon progeny) particles reveal that particle deposition is enhanced at the carinal ridge, consistent with the action of local flow patterns. Carinal deposition enhancement is slightly higher for the symmetric physiologically realistic and the asymmetric idealized models relative to the commonly used symmetric idealized bifurcation model, thereby providing a reasonable range for local deposition enhancement factors. Together with reduced mucociliary clearance at carinal ridges, such localized accumulations of radon decay products may produce local cellular doses, which can significantly exceed dose estimates based on uniform nuclide distributions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S935-S940
JournalEnvironment International
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1997
EventProceedings of the 1995 6th International Symposium on the Natural Radiation Environment, NRE - Montreal, Can
Duration: Jun 5 1995Jun 9 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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