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Review Article | Open Access

From indoor exposure to inhaled particle deposition: A multiphase journey of inhaled particles

School of Engineering, RMIT University, PO Box 71, Bundoora, 3083, Australia
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An erratum to this article is available online at:


Indoor air quality and its effect on respiratory health are reliant on understanding the level of inhalation exposure, particle inhalability, and particle deposition in the respiratory airway. In the indoor environment, controlling airflow through different ventilation systems can reduce inhalation exposure. This produces a wide variety of complex flow phenomena, such as recirculation, coanda flow, separation, and reattachment. Airborne particles drifting through the air, that move within the breathing region become inhaled into nasal cavity the nostrils. Studies have developed the aspiration efficiency to assist in predicting the fraction of inhaled particles. Inside the nasal cavity, micron and submicron particle deposition occurs in very different ways (inertial impaction, sedimentation, diffusion) and different locations. In addition, fibrous particles such as asbestos are influenced by tumbling effects and its deposition mechanism can include interception. Indoor fluid-particle dynamics related to inhalation exposure and eventual deposition in the respiratory airway is presented. This study involves multi-disciplinary fields involving building science, fluid dynamics, computer science, and medical imaging disciplines. In the future, an integrated approach can lead to digital/in-silico representations of the human respiratory airway able to predict the inhaled particle exposure and its toxicology effect.


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Experimental and Computational Multiphase Flow
Pages 59-78
Cite this article:
Inthavong K. From indoor exposure to inhaled particle deposition: A multiphase journey of inhaled particles. Experimental and Computational Multiphase Flow, 2020, 2(2): 59-78.








Web of Science




Received: 24 February 2019
Accepted: 28 September 2019
Published: 22 October 2019
© Tsinghua University Press 2019