Measurement of Local Mass Transfer Coefficients in a Cast Model of the Human Upper Respiratory Tract

[+] Author and Article Information
L. M. Hanna

School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md. 21205

P. W. Scherer

Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. 19104

J Biomech Eng 108(1), 12-18 (Feb 01, 1986) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3138573 History: Received June 16, 1984; Revised September 03, 1985; Online June 12, 2009


Local mass transfer coefficients measured using the naphthalene sublimation technique in an acrylic cast model of the human upper respiratory tract are reported as the Sherwood numbers for the corresponding regions. A steady air flow rate of 12 L per min was used for all measurements. Values of the Sherwood number are seen to be highest in the nasal cavity and proximal nasopharynx while a minimum value occurs just downstream from the larynx. Local values of the Nusselt number obtained in the trachea and proximal nasal cavity assuming a complete heat and mass transfer analogy agree well with in-vivo physiological measurements. The mass transfer coefficients found can be incorporated into an analytical model of respiratory heat and water vapor transfer or into a model of pollutant gas uptake in the respiratory tract.

Copyright © 1986 by ASME
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