Prediction of convective heat transfer coefficients for the upper respiratory tracts of rat, dog, monkey, and humans

Kazuhide Ito, Koki Mitsumune, Kazuki Kuga, Nguyen L. Phuong, Kenji Tani, Kiao Inthavong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


In vivo studies involving mammal surrogate models for toxicology studies have restrictions related to animal protection and ethics. Computer models, i.e., in silico models, have great potential to contribute towards essential understanding of heat and mass transfer phenomena in respiratory tracts in place of in vivo and in vitro studies. Here, we developed numerical upper airway models of a rat, a dog, a monkey, and two humans by using computed tomography data and then applied computational fluid dynamics analysis. Convective heat transfer coefficients were precisely analysed as a function of breathing airflow rate. Based on the computational fluid dynamics simulation results, the correlations between Nusselt (Nu) number and the product of the Reynolds (Re) and Prandtl (Pr) numbers were summarized. The heat transfer efficiency (order of hc and correlation of Nu and RePr) in the upper airway of the dog seems to match those of the human models. On the other hand, the results for the rat and monkey showed clear differences compared with those of human models. The identified fundamental qualities of convective heat transfer phenomena in airways for rats, dogs, monkeys, and humans, have enabled discussions about quantitative differences of heat and mass transfer efficiency between different animals/species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-840
Number of pages13
JournalIndoor and Built Environment
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Building and Construction


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