Flow, Turbulence and Combustion

, Volume 102, Issue 1, pp 89–116 | Cite as

A Hierarchical Numerical Journey Through the Nasal Cavity: from Nose-Like Models to Real Anatomies

  • Andreas LintermannEmail author
  • Wolfgang Schröder


The immense increase of computational power in the past decades led to an evolution of numerical simulations in all kind of engineering applications. New developments in medical technologies in rhinology employ computational fluid dynamics methods to explore pathologies from a fluid-mechanics point of view. Such methods have grown mature and are about to enter daily clinical use to support doctors in decision making. In light of the importance of effective respiration on patient comfort and health care costs, individualized simulations ultimately have the potential to revolutionize medical diagnosis, drug delivery, and surgery planning. The present article reviews experiments, simulations, and algorithmic approaches developed at RWTH Aachen University that have evolved from fundamental physical analyses using nose-like models to patient-individual analyses based on realistic anatomies and high resolution computations in hierarchical manner.


Nasal cavity flows Particle-image velocimetry Finite volume method Lattice-Boltzmann method High performance computing 



The authors of this manuscript would like to thank Dr.-Ing. Ingolf Hörschler and Dr.-Ing. Matthias Meinke for the provision of visual material and fruitful discussions. The research for this project has been conducted under DFG research grant WE-2186/5. Furthermore, the authors gratefully acknowledge the computing time granted by the JARA-HPC Vergabegremium and provided on the JARA-HPC Partition, part of the supercomputer JUQUEEN [58] at Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) for providing computing time through the John von Neumann Institute for Computing (NIC) on the GCS share of JUQUEEN and the HERMIT at HLRS Stuttgart. GCS is the alliance of the three national supercomputing centers HLRS (Universität Stuttgart), JSC (Forschungszentrum Jülich), and LRZ (Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German State Ministries for Research of Baden-Württemberg (MWK), Bayern (StMWFK) and Nordrhein-Westfalen (MIWF).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This study was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) under research grant number WE-2186/5.

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of AerodynamicsRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Jülich Aachen Research Alliance, High Performance Computing (JARA-HPC)RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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