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The lung physiome: merging imaging‐based measures with predictive computational models

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Abstract Global measurements of the lung provided by standard pulmonary function tests do not give insight into the regional basis of lung function and lung disease. Advances in imaging methodologies, computer technologies, and subject‐specific simulations are creating new opportunities to study structure‐function relationships in the lung through multidisciplinary research. The digital Human Lung Atlas is an image‐based resource compiled from male and female subjects spanning several decades of age. The Atlas comprises both structural and functional measures, and includes computational models derived to match individual subjects for personalized prediction of function. The computational models in the Atlas form part of the Lung Physiome project, which is an international effort to develop integrative models of lung function at all levels of biological organization. The computational models provide mechanistic interpretation of imaging measures; the Atlas provides structural data on which to base model geometry, and functional data against which to test hypotheses. The example of simulating airflow on a subject‐specific basis is considered. Methods for deriving multiscale models of the airway geometry for individual subjects in the Atlas are outlined, and methods for modeling turbulent flows in the airway are reviewed. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. This article is categorized under: Analytical and Computational Methods > Computational Methods Models of Systems Properties and Processes > Organ, Tissue, and Physiological Models Translational, Genomic, and Systems Medicine > Translational Medicine

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Model of the entire conducting airway tree for one subject in the Human Lung Atlas database. (a) left lung airways from volume‐filling branching (VFB) algorithm (upper lobe yellow, lower lobe orange) and central airways fitted to MDCT imaging (gray); (b) front view of the full tree; (c) right lung airways from VFB algorithm (upper lobe green, middle lobe red, lower lobe blue).

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Contours of LES (large eddy simulation)‐computed mean velocity magnitude of airflow in MDCT‐based airway models in a vertical plane cutting through the vocal cord and the trachea for two human subjects (a) and (b).

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Deriving a subject‐specific multiscale model for the airway tree. (a) all airways from trachea to generation 11, and two paths to the terminal bronchioles, for a subject from the Human Lung Atlas database; (b) a coarse 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) mesh generated over a single bifurcation from a portion of the tree in (a); (c) enlargement of the CFD mesh for the single bifurcation.

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Translational, Genomic, and Systems Medicine > Translational Medicine
Analytical and Computational Methods > Computational Methods
Models of Systems Properties and Processes > Organ, Tissue, and Physiological Models

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