Review: A critical overview of limitations of cfd modeling in nasal airflow

Mohammed Zubair, Mohammed Zulkifly Abdullah, Rushdan Ismail, Ibrahim Lutfi Shuaib, Suzina Abdul Hamid, Kamarul Arifin Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling of nasal airflow has been carried out by several researchers. Virtual surgical treatment and aerosol deposition studies have also been conducted. However, the appropriateness of such modeling practices with regards to modeling and medical constraints needs careful consideration. The current numerical models for the study of nasal airflow, developed from the scanned images obtained from computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, are influenced by postural changes. These models neglect the mucous layer, other vital anatomical features, and nasal cycle effects. CFD studies make numerous assumptions that seriously limit their usefulness. Unless these constraints can be addressed, the interpretation of results from a CFD output cannot be considered as an appropriate definition of the flow behaviour. This review provides a critical overview of the limitations of the CFD modeling of nasal airflow. Some of the limitations and constraints associated with CFD modeling are reviewed and possible studies that could be carried out in the future to ascertain the effect of neglecting these parameters are discussed. This study also proposes a standardisation of the computational modeling procedure, which is necessary for studying airflow inside the nasal cavity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical and Biological Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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