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    The lungs have long been considered a desired route for drug delivery but, there is still a lack of strategies to rationally target delivery sites especially in the presence of heterogeneous airway disease. Furthermore, no standardized system has been proposed to rapidly test different ventilation strategies and how they alter the overall and regional deposition pattern in the airways. In this study, a 3D printed symmetric bifurcating tree model mimicking part of the human airway tree was developed that can be used to quantify the regional deposition patterns of different delivery methodologies. The model is constructed in a novel way that allows for repeated measurements of regional deposition using reusable parts. During ventilation, nebulized ~3-micron-sized fluid droplets were delivered into the model. Regional delivery, quantified by precision weighing individual airways, was highly reproducible. A successful strategy to control regional deposition was achieved by combining an inspiratory wave form with a "breath hold" pause after each inspiration. Specifically, the second generation of the tree was successfully targeted, and deposition was increased by up to four times in generation 2 when compared to a ventilation without the breath hold (p < 0.0001). Breath hold was also demonstrated to facilitate deposition into blocked regions of the model, which mimic airway closure during an asthma that receive no flow during inhalation. Additionally, visualization experiments demonstrated that in the absence of fluid flow, the deposition of 3-micron water droplets is dominated by gravity, which, to our knowledge, has not been confirmed under standard laboratory conditions.


    Adam H Sonnenberg, Edward Taylor, Jarred R Mondoñedo, Samer Bou Jawde, Samir D Amin, Jiaxi Song, Mark W Grinstaff, Béla Suki. Breath Hold Facilitates Targeted Deposition of Aerosolized Droplets in a 3D Printed Bifurcating Airway Tree. Annals of biomedical engineering. 2021 Feb;49(2):812-821

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    PMID: 32959135

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