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International Journal of Biomedical Imaging
Volume 2012, Article ID 350853, 10 pages
Research Article

Modeling Airflow Using Subject-Specific 4DCT-Based Deformable Volumetric Lung Models

1Department of Mechanical Materials and Aerospace Engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
2Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90230, USA
3Department of Radiation Oncology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Orlando, Orlando, FL 32806 , USA

Received 16 June 2012; Revised 26 September 2012; Accepted 4 October 2012

Academic Editor: Ayman El-Baz

Copyright © 2012 Olusegun J. Ilegbusi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lung radiotherapy is greatly benefitted when the tumor motion caused by breathing can be modeled. The aim of this paper is to present the importance of using anisotropic and subject-specific tissue elasticity for simulating the airflow inside the lungs. A computational-fluid-dynamics (CFD) based approach is presented to simulate airflow inside a subject-specific deformable lung for modeling lung tumor motion and the motion of the surrounding tissues during radiotherapy. A flow-structure interaction technique is employed that simultaneously models airflow and lung deformation. The lung is modeled as a poroelastic medium with subject-specific anisotropic poroelastic properties on a geometry, which was reconstructed from four-dimensional computed tomography (4DCT) scan datasets of humans with lung cancer. The results include the 3D anisotropic lung deformation for known airflow pattern inside the lungs. The effects of anisotropy are also presented on both the spatiotemporal volumetric lung displacement and the regional lung hysteresis.