Transport and deposition of cohesive pharmaceutical powders in human airway

Yuan Wang, Kaiwei Chu, Aibing Yu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther

2 Citations (Scopus)


Pharmaceutical powders used in inhalation therapy are in the size range of 1-5 microns and are usually cohesive. Understanding the cohesive behaviour of pharmaceutical powders during their transportation in human airway is significant in optimising aerosol drug delivery and targeting. In this study, the transport and deposition of cohesive pharmaceutical powders in a human airway model is simulated by a well-established numerical model which combines computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and discrete element method (DEM). The van der Waals force, as the dominant cohesive force, is simulated and its influence on particle transport and deposition behaviour is discussed. It is observed that even for dilute particle flow, the local particle concentration in the oral to trachea region can be high and particle aggregation happens due to the van der Waals force of attraction. It is concluded that the deposition mechanism for cohesive pharmaceutical powders, on one hand, is dominated by particle inertial impaction, as proven by previous studies; on the other hand, is significantly affected by particle aggregation induced by van der Waals force. To maximum respiratory drug delivery efficiency, efforts should be made to avoid pharmaceutical powder aggregation in human oral-to-trachea airway.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEPJ Web of Conferences
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2017
EventPowders and Grains 2017 - Montpellier, France
Duration: 3 Jul 20177 Jul 2017
Conference number: 8th


ConferencePowders and Grains 2017
Internet address

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