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Transport phenomena in human lungs

Units : TIPs - Transport phenomena and process engineering | ULB828

Description :

Regarding the transport phenomena in the respiratory system, we have two distinct, but coupled, interests. The first objective of
our research is to go towards a better understanding of the dynamics of the bronchial mucus, in healthy and unhealthy people.
Human bronchi are covered with a thin layer of mucus. This layer acts as a trap for inspired fine particles and microorganisms.
However, today, the dynamics of the bronchial mucus is still poorly understood. In addition, it is known that, in the context of certain
diseases such as asthma and cystic fibrosis, this dynamics is significantly impaired. In collaboration with the pulmonology
department of the Erasme Hospital, our goal is to improve the understanding of the bronchial mucus dynamics by combining in silico
(modelling and simulation) and in vitro (laboratory experiments) studies. A specific objective is to analyse the coupling, potentially
very important, between the rheology of the mucus and the respiratory conditions (respiration frequency, breathing air
temperature and humidity…). Another of our objectives is to understand how the heterogeneity of the lungs (whether natural or induced by
pathologies) influences the exchange processes within it (water, heat, oxygen transport). In this context, we are interested in
describing the dynamics of the NO, a physiological molecule that can be considered as a marker of different phenomena. In particular,
in collaboration with the Karolinska Institute (Sweden), we are studying how this molecule can be used as a tool for monitoring
respiratory function on the International Space Station.

Selected publications : 

Karamaoun, C., Sobac, B., Mauroy, B., Van
Muylem, A., & Haut, B. New Insights into the Mechanisms Controlling the Bronchia Mucus Balance. PLOS One, published 22 June

Karamaoun, C., Haut, B., & Van Muylem, A. A new role for the exhaled nitric oxide as a functional marker of peripheral
airway calibre changes: a theoretical study. Journal of Applied Physiology, 124, 1025-1033. 2018

Karamaoun, C., Van Muylem, A.,
& Haut, B. Modelling of the nitric oxide transport in the human lungs. Frontiers in Physiology, 7, 255. 2016

Web site:

List of persons in charge :

  • BUESS Alexandra

  • HAUT Benoît

Members List :

  • BUESS Alexandra


  • SOBAC Benjamin

List of lessors :

  • F.R.S.-FNRS et Fonds associés (hors FRIA)

  • Autres ministères fédéraux

  • Autres U.E.