Fluid-mechanical model for blood flow in lung alveoli

Robert W. Zimmerman, Sunil Kumar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The flow of blood through the inter-alveolar septum of animal lung has often been modeled as an incompressible Newtonian fluid flowing between two parallel plates or membranes that are held apart and supported by cylindrical posts of septal tissue. The object of this modeling is to determine the manner in which the geometrical morphology of the septa affects the relationship between the drop in pressure and the volumetric flow rate of the blood. This flow is analyzed using a Brinkman-type equation, which is a hybrid of the Navier-Stokes equations and Darcy's law for flow through porous media, and a simple closed-form expression for the flow resistance is obtained. The results compare very well with experimental data from the literature that were obtained from a mechanical model with the same parallel-plate and cylindrical-post geometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Biological Heat and Mass Transfer
PublisherPubl by ASME
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)0791808785
StatePublished - 1991
EventWinter Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers - Atlanta, GA, USA
Duration: Dec 1 1991Dec 6 1991

Publication series

NameAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Heat Transfer Division, (Publication) HTD
ISSN (Print)0272-5673


OtherWinter Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers
CityAtlanta, GA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Fluid-mechanical model for blood flow in lung alveoli'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this