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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 423; doi:10.3390/ijerph15030423

Experimental and Numerical Modeling of Aerosol Delivery for Preterm Infants

Nuclear Engineering and Fluid Mechanics Department, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, 01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, Spain
Department of Nautical Science and Marine Systems, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, 48013 Portugalete, Bizkaia, Spain
Animal Research Unit, BioCruces Health Research Institute, 48903 Barakaldo, Bizkaia, Spain
Department of Physical Chemistry, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, 48940 Leioa, Bizkaia, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [7642 KB, uploaded 28 February 2018]   |  


Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) represents one of the major causes of mortality among preterm infants, and the best approach to treat it is an open research issue. The use of perfluorocarbons (PFC) along with non-invasive respiratory support techniques has proven the usefulness of PFC as a complementary substance to achieve a more homogeneous surfactant distribution. The aim of this work was to study the inhaled particles generated by means of an intracorporeal inhalation catheter, evaluating the size and mass distribution of different PFC aerosols. In this article, we discuss different experiments with the PFC perfluorodecalin (PFD) and FC75 with a driving pressure of 4–5 bar, evaluating properties such as the aerodynamic diameter (Da), since its value is directly linked to particle deposition in the lung. Furthermore, we develop a numerical model with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques. The computational results showed an accurate prediction of the airflow axial velocity at different downstream positions when compared with the data gathered from the real experiments. The numerical validation of the cumulative mass distribution for PFD particles also confirmed a closer match with the experimental data measured at the optimal distance of 60 mm from the catheter tip. In the case of FC75, the cumulative mass fraction for particles above 10 µm was considerable higher with a driving pressure of 5 bar. These numerical models could be a helpful tool to assist parametric studies of new non-invasive devices for the treatment of RDS in preterm infants. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerosol; CFD; inhalation catheter; perfluorocarbons; respiratory distress syndrome aerosol; CFD; inhalation catheter; perfluorocarbons; respiratory distress syndrome

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Aramendia, I.; Fernandez-Gamiz, U.; Lopez-Arraiza, A.; Rey-Santano, C.; Mielgo, V.; Basterretxea, F.J.; Sancho, J.; Gomez-Solaetxe, M.A. Experimental and Numerical Modeling of Aerosol Delivery for Preterm Infants. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 423.

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