Research Topic

Transport Phenomena in Human Lungs: A Mechanical Perspective

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About this Research Topic

Chronic respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) constitute a major health issue for almost one billion of patients suffering from one of these diseases worldwide. If drug treatments exist in addition to physiotherapy sessions, there are no curative treatments and in some cases only mechanical devices can make patients more autonomous and improve their life quality.

At the root of these lung disorders lies the transport phenomena taking place in human lungs, which form a fascinating problem from the physical/mechanical engineering point of view. In particular, the gas exchanges occurring at the epithelium surface, the rheological nature of bronchial mucus, and the coordinated beating of epithelial cilia transporting mucus are fundamental issues which require an interdisciplinary effort to understand the underlying biophysical mechanisms at play. Indeed, the complex dynamics of the biochemical transfers in the bronchial tree is a key problem in the understanding of the fluid transport in lungs, which will help to progress our knowledge of chronic respiratory diseases.

The purpose of this interdisciplinary Research Topic is to gather together the latest and most relevant scientific advances performed on the study of fluid transports in human lungs, spanning the whole spectrum of methodologies from experimental to theoretical and numerical approaches. Although the clinical community is not directly targeted, articles on biomedical applications are welcome as long as they are based on sound medical outcomes. We welcome investigators to submit concise, well-written articles with a rigorous methodology which clearly highlights the novelties and the breakthroughs with respect to the background topic.

The potential sub-topics include, but are not limited to:
- Physics and hydrodynamics mechanisms of the mucociliary clearance;
- Biophysical mechanisms involved in the gas exchanges along the bronchial tree;
- Fluid-structure interaction mechanisms in human lungs;
- Characterization of the non-Newtonian rheology of bronchial mucus;
- Characterization of the collective organization of epithelial beating cilia;
- Dynamics and breaking of liquid plugs in the bronchial tree;
- Flow and particle deposition in airways with bifurcations;
- Microfluidic airway models;
- Airway clearance devices for patients suffering from COPD, asthma or cystic fibrosis;
- Advanced experimental, analytical and numerical tools dedicated to airway modelling.


Keywords: human lungs, fluid transport, mucociliary clearance, mucus, chronic respiratory diseases


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Chronic respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) constitute a major health issue for almost one billion of patients suffering from one of these diseases worldwide. If drug treatments exist in addition to physiotherapy sessions, there are no curative treatments and in some cases only mechanical devices can make patients more autonomous and improve their life quality.

At the root of these lung disorders lies the transport phenomena taking place in human lungs, which form a fascinating problem from the physical/mechanical engineering point of view. In particular, the gas exchanges occurring at the epithelium surface, the rheological nature of bronchial mucus, and the coordinated beating of epithelial cilia transporting mucus are fundamental issues which require an interdisciplinary effort to understand the underlying biophysical mechanisms at play. Indeed, the complex dynamics of the biochemical transfers in the bronchial tree is a key problem in the understanding of the fluid transport in lungs, which will help to progress our knowledge of chronic respiratory diseases.

The purpose of this interdisciplinary Research Topic is to gather together the latest and most relevant scientific advances performed on the study of fluid transports in human lungs, spanning the whole spectrum of methodologies from experimental to theoretical and numerical approaches. Although the clinical community is not directly targeted, articles on biomedical applications are welcome as long as they are based on sound medical outcomes. We welcome investigators to submit concise, well-written articles with a rigorous methodology which clearly highlights the novelties and the breakthroughs with respect to the background topic.

The potential sub-topics include, but are not limited to:
- Physics and hydrodynamics mechanisms of the mucociliary clearance;
- Biophysical mechanisms involved in the gas exchanges along the bronchial tree;
- Fluid-structure interaction mechanisms in human lungs;
- Characterization of the non-Newtonian rheology of bronchial mucus;
- Characterization of the collective organization of epithelial beating cilia;
- Dynamics and breaking of liquid plugs in the bronchial tree;
- Flow and particle deposition in airways with bifurcations;
- Microfluidic airway models;
- Airway clearance devices for patients suffering from COPD, asthma or cystic fibrosis;
- Advanced experimental, analytical and numerical tools dedicated to airway modelling.


Keywords: human lungs, fluid transport, mucociliary clearance, mucus, chronic respiratory diseases


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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