Alwin Verschueren

Philips Research Laboratories

Multiphysics modeling of a medical nebulizer device: the path from piëzo to droplet

In pulmonary drug delivery, medication in the form of a fine mist of droplets is inhaled by patients through their lungs to enter the bloodstream. This route is becoming ever more attractive as an alternative to mainstream drug delivery via injection or pills, also for other than lung diseases. A major challenge is that effective delivery is only obtained for a narrow range in droplet sizes. To address this, modeling has proven instrumental in our Research & Development project. A multi-physics model has been developed that spans the complete pathway from piëzo resonances, to pressure waves in the liquid medication, up to the dynamics of individual droplet formation. Our model allowed capturing space-time events inaccessible to experimental techniques. And, recent cluster computing techniques made it feasible to perform multi-dimensional parameter scans, allowing to identify critical parameters, and to disentangle their complex interactions.

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