A new human airway replica, facilitating the study of inhaled particle material in the presence of segmental distal obstructions

F. Cetta, K. Laganà, R. Zangari, A. Dhamo, P. Laviano, F. Tani, G. Dubini, L. Allegra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new human airway replica has been deviced and realized, which, in addition to show the possible pathway of disposition of inhaled particles, because of their size and airway bifurcation, is also able to analyze the behaviour of the air tract in case of segmental distal obstruction during peaks of PM concentration. After imaging collection and generation of a hollow, morphologically detailed human tracheobronchial airway model, the human replica was reconstructed by rapid prototyping. The experimental set up included: A deformable district (5th district) after the first 4 generations of bronchuses, which were rigid to mimic the inextensible cartilage component; a ventilator to inflate at physiological flow with resistances, mimicking obstruction; adjustable bags or taps, a pressure transducer to measure differential pressure at both inlet and outlet, a video-camera to record the deformation of respiratory segments, and a data acquisition system to record the pressure values. In particular, the terminal segments could be removed and analyzed to assess the pattern of deposition and the quality and/or quantity of PM. This prototype will be used to test an original hypothesis namely that respiratory, and in particular cardiovascular complications, instead of being exclusively the result of the intrinsic toxic effect of PM, because of oxidative stress or inflammation, could also be dependent on mechanical obstructive complications, triggered or worsened by inhaled PM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-349
Number of pages7
JournalGIMT - Giornale Italiano delle Malattie del Torace
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Distal airway obstructions
  • Human airway
  • Prototype
  • Simulation of particle flow
  • Sperimental models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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