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A Numerical Simulation of Intranasal Air Temperature During Inspiration

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Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis: In vivo measurements of the intranasal air temperature are feasible. The present study was designed to reproduce temperature distributions within the human nasal cavity by means of numerical simulation.

Study Design: Numerical simulation.

Methods: Based on computed tomography (CT), a steady-state computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation was performed displaying the temperature distribution throughout the human nasal cavity during inspiration. The results of the numerical simulation were compared with in vivo temperature measurements.

Results: The numerical simulation demonstrated that the major increase of the inspiratory air temperature can be found in the anterior nasal segment, especially within the nasal valve area, which is comparable to in vivo measurements. Intranasal areas of high temperature were characterized by turbulent airflow with vortices of low velocity. The results of numerical simulation showed an excellent comparability to the results of previous in vivo measurements in the entire nasal cavity.

Conclusion: The anterior nasal segment is the most effective part of the nose in heating of the ambient air. The findings demonstrated the complexity of the relationship between airflow patterns and heating of inspired air. A numerical simulation of the temperature distribution using CFD is practicable.

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