CUED Publications database

An experimental investigation to model wheezing in lungs

Gregory, AL and Agarwal, A and Lasenby, J (2021) An experimental investigation to model wheezing in lungs. Royal Society Open Science, 8.

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A quarter of the world's population experience wheezing. These sounds have been used for diagnosis since the time of the Ebers Papyrus (ca 1500 BC). We know that wheezing is a result of the oscillations of the airways that make up the lung. However, the physical mechanisms for the onset of wheezing remain poorly understood, and we do not have a quantitative model to predict when wheezing occurs. We address these issues in this paper. We model the airways of the lungs by a modified Starling resistor in which airflow is driven through thin, stretched elastic tubes. By completing systematic experiments, we find a generalized 'tube law' that describes how the cross-sectional area of the tubes change in response to the transmural pressure difference across them. We find the necessary conditions for the onset of oscillations that represent wheezing and propose a flutter-like instability model for it about a heavily deformed state of the tube. Our findings allow for a predictive tool for wheezing in lungs, which could lead to better diagnosis and treatment of lung diseases.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div F > Signal Processing and Communications
Div A > Fluid Mechanics
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2021 20:16
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2021 06:50
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.201951