Lorenz Berger,  Oxford University, Department of Computer Science

A Poroelastic Model for Modelling Tissue Deformation and Ventilation in the Lung

Modelling tissue deformation or ventilation in the diseased lung separately does not give a good indication of how the integrated organ works, this is because both components are interdependent. We present a computational lung model that tightly couples a poroelastic model of lung tissue to an airway fluid network. The poroelastic model approximates the porous structure of lung tissue using a continuum model that allows us to naturally model changes in physiology by spatially varying material parameters. A stabilized finite element method is presented to discretize the poroelastic equations. To demonstrate the coupling between the poroelastic medium and the airway fluid network, numerical simulations on a realistic lung geometry are presented. We also investigate the effect of airway constriction and tissue weakening on the ventilation, tissue stress and alveolar pressure distribution and highlight the interdependence of ventilation and deformation.