Heil, M. (1999)
Airway Closure: Occluding Liquid Bridges in Strongly Buckled
ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 121, 487-493.
This paper is concerned with the airway closure problem and
investigates the deformation characteristics of
strongly collapsed (buckled) airways which are occluded by liquid bridges of
high surface tension. The airway wall is modelled as a thin-walled
elastic shell which deforms in response to an external
pressure and to the compression
due to the surface tension of the liquid bridge. The governing
equations are solved numerically. It is shown that for physiologically
realistic parameter values, axisymmetric and partially
collapsed (i.e. buckled but without opposite wall
contact) configurations are
statically unstable. The deformation characteristics of strongly collapsed
airways whose walls are in opposite wall contact show
a pronounced hysteresis during the collapse/reopening cycle. Buckling
is shown to occur over a short axial length with moderate
circumferential wavenumbers. Finally, further implications of the results for
the airway collapse/reopening problem are discussed.
Page last modified: November 02, 1999
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