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On the Role of Mechanics in Chronic Lung Disease
AbstractProgressive airflow obstruction is a classical hallmark of chronic lung disease, affecting more than one fourth of the adult population. As the disease progresses, the inner layer of the airway wall grows, folds inwards, and narrows the lumen. The critical failure conditions for airway folding have been studied intensely for idealized circular cross-sections. However, the role of airway branching during this process is unknown. Here, we show that the geometry of the bronchial tree plays a crucial role in chronic airway obstruction and that critical failure conditions vary significantly along a branching airway segment. We perform systematic parametric studies for varying airway cross-sections using a computational model for mucosal thickening based on the theory of finite growth. Our simulations indicate that smaller airways are at a higher risk of narrowing than larger airways and that regions away from a branch narrow more drastically than regions close to a branch. These results agree with clinical observations and could help explain the underlying mechanisms of progressive airway obstruction. Understanding growth-induced instabilities in constrained geometries has immediate biomedical applications beyond asthma and chronic bronchitis in the diagnostics and treatment of chronic gastritis, obstructive sleep apnea and breast cancer.
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Eskandari, M.; Pfaller, M.R.; Kuhl, E. On the Role of Mechanics in Chronic Lung Disease. Materials 2013, 6, 5639-5658.View more citation formats
Eskandari M, Pfaller MR, Kuhl E. On the Role of Mechanics in Chronic Lung Disease. Materials. 2013; 6(12):5639-5658.Chicago/Turabian Style
Eskandari, Mona; Pfaller, Martin R.; Kuhl, Ellen. 2013. "On the Role of Mechanics in Chronic Lung Disease." Materials 6, no. 12: 5639-5658.
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