Chest physiotherapy and mathematical modelling

Submitted by Insmi on Sat, 07/02/2016 - 14:39
Lung of a child
Fig 1 :  This 3D-reconstruction of the lungs of a 6 years old child was performed thanks to images produced by a scanner.

Chest physiotherapy is a practise-based discipline. It is difficult to tell how the pressures performed on the chest by the practitionner actually affect the pulmonary secretions. Benjamin Mauroy and Mongkolsery Lin, from the Laboratoire Jean-Alexandre Dieudonné (Nice), are working in collaboration with a biophysicist, a doctor, an anesthetist and physiotherapists on the mathematical modelling of the biophysical phenomena involved in chest physiotherapy. Mathematical analysis and scientific calculus proved to be a performing tool for the analysis of these complex systems.

The authors studied the interactions between the air and the secretions in the bronchial tubes, viewed as rigid fractal structures. Taking into account the deformable aspects of bronchi, they developed a mathematical model for chest physiotherapy which has been studied thanks to a dedicated numerical code. Mathematical results were obtained on systems of isolated bronchi. This analysis has allowed to emplasize several physiological behaviors such as the movements of the secretions in the lumbs or the existence of a lumb volume which optimizes the efficience of chest physiotherapists' manipulations.



Fig 2 : Simulation of the closure of a bronchus. This figure shows a section of a bronchus submitted to an increasing compression from left to right. The number of folds (4 on the picture) depends on the mechanical and geometric properties of the two slides of tissues pictured in blue and red. The air and secretions fluid mechanics strongly depend on the form of the sections of the bronchi.


Read the full article in French.

References :

[1] Mathematical analysis of air-mucus interaction in a deformable bronchus, M. Lin, B. Mauroy.

[2] The role of bronchus morphology on mucus mobilization during chest physiotherapy, B. Mauroy, R. Clément, M. Argentina, C. Fausser, D. Pelca, J. Merckx, P. Flaud.

Contacts :

  •  Benjamin Mauroy | Laboratoire JA Dieudonné UMR7351, Nice.
  •  Mongkolsery Lin | Center of Research and Innovation, Institute of Technology of Cambodia.
  •  Patrice Flaud, biophysicist | Laboratory MSC UMR7057, Paris 7.
  •  Jacques Merckx, anesthethis | associated to MSC UMR7057, Paris 7.
  •  Christian Fausser et Dominique Pelca | physiotherapists.
  •  Plamen Bokov | AP-HP, Service de Physiologie - Explorations fonctionnelles, Hôpital Robert Debré.