A Mathematical Description of Pressures in Alveolar Pores of Kohn

[+] Author and Article Information
De-fu Lu, Charles Stanley

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506

German Nunez

Industrial and Systems Engineering Department, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199

David Frazer

Department of Physiology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506

J Biomech Eng 113(1), 104-107 (Feb 01, 1991) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2894075 History: Received June 14, 1990; Revised October 30, 1990; Online March 17, 2008


Small interalveolar holes within the lung are called pores of Kohn. Some researchers have correlated enlarged pore size with diseases, e.g. emphysema, that are characterized by tissue destruction. Mathematical models of the pressures generated in closed, fluid-filled and open, fluid-lined pores demonstrate that pressures capable of rupturing lung tissue can be developed in a pore due to the surface tension and shape of the air-liquid interface. Pore enlargement accompanied by tissue destruction is presented as a possible mechanism for the disease process observed during aging and the development of emphysema in the lung.

Copyright © 1991 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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