Nitric oxide in the exhaled air: a messenger from the deepest parts of the lungs. Mathematical modeling of its transport for a better management of pulmonary diseases (cystic fibrosis, asthma, …)

17 October 2019

During this seminar, we will present a new mathematical model describing the transport of nitric oxide (NO) in a realistic geometrical representation of the lungs. Nitric oxide (NO) is naturally produced in the bronchial region of the lungs. It is a physiological molecule that has antimicrobial properties and allows the relaxation of muscles. It is well known that the measurement of the molar fraction of NO in the exhaled air, the so-called FeNO, allows a monitoring of asthmatic patients, since the production of this molecule in the lungs is increased in case of inflammation. However, recent clinical studies have shown that the amount of NO in the exhaled air can also be affected by « non-inflammatory » processes, such as the action of a bronchodilator or a respiratory physiotherapy session for a patient with cystic fibrosis. Using our new model, we will highlight the complex interplay between different transport phenomena in the lungs. More specifically, we will show why changes taking place in the deepest part of the lungs are expected to impact the FeNO. This gives a new light on the clinical studies mentioned below, allowing to confer a new role to the NO for the management of various pulmonary pathologies.

  • Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar