Open-Source CFD Analysis of Nasal Flows


  • Luka Balatinec Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture
  • Tessa Uroić Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture
  • Hrvoje Jasak University of Cambridge



The complex anatomical structure of the nose and the internal soft tissue, which forms the nasal cavity, make it extremely difficult to generalise and understand the exact mechanism of nasal breathing. Deeper insight into phenomena associated with nasal flows may prove vital for better understanding of various conditions that affect breathing and may help in the selection of appropriate medical treatments. More recently, as studying the transmission of airborne particles and the effect of filtration devices became of pronounced importance, having the ability to visualise nasal flows and perform numerical analyses may prove to be an invaluable resource.
This paper presents a detailed overview of a procedure developed for analysis of nasal flows. Every step of the procedure, from creating the computational model to airflow simulation, is based on freely available and open-source tools, thus providing a widely available framework for investigation of nasal flows. The framework consists of extracting a computational model from computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, model refinement and numerical simulations performed using OpenFOAM - an open-source toolbox for computational fluid dynamics simulations. Finally, the framework is used on real medical data (CT scans) of the nasal cavity, the resulting simulations are analysed and the relevant data is discussed.

Nasal Flow

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How to Cite

Balatinec, L., Uroić, T., & Jasak, H. (2021). Open-Source CFD Analysis of Nasal Flows. OpenFOAM® Journal, 1, 2–26.



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