Inhalation exposure to airborne contaminants has adverse effects on humans; however, related research is typically conducted using in vivo/in vitro tests on animals. Extrapolating the test results is complicated by anatomical and physiological differences between animals and humans and a lack of understanding of the transport mechanism inside their respective respiratory tracts. This study determined the detailed air-flow structure in the upper airway of a monkey. A steady computational fluid dynamics simulation, which was validated by previous particle image velocimetry measurements, was adopted for flow rates of 4 L/min and 10 L/min to analyze the flow structure from the nasal/oral cavities to the trachea region in a monkey airway model. The low Reynolds number type k–ε model provided a reasonably accurate prediction of the airflow in a monkey upper airway. Furthermore, it was confirmed that large velocity gradients were generated in the nasal vestibule and larynx regions, as well as increased turbulent air kinetic energy and wall sheer stress.
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