You are here: MIMS > EPrints
MIMS EPrints

2007.22: Surface-tension-induced buckling of liquid-lined elastic tubes: a model pulmonary airway closure

2007.22: Andrew L. Hazel and Matthias Heil (2005) Surface-tension-induced buckling of liquid-lined elastic tubes: a model pulmonary airway closure. Proceedings of the Royal society A, 461 (2058). pp. 1847-1868. ISSN 1471-2946

Full text available as:

PDF - Registered users only - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
764 Kb

DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2005.1453


We use a fully coupled, three-dimensional, finite-element method to study the evolution of the surface-tension-driven instabilities of a liquid layer that lines an elastic tube, a simple model for pulmonary airway closure. The equations of large-displacement shell theory are used to describe the deformations of the tube and are coupled to the Navier–Stokes equations, describing the motion of the liquid.

The liquid layer is susceptible to a capillary instability, whereby an initially uniform layer can develop a series of axisymmetric peaks and troughs, analogous to the classical instability that causes liquid jets to break up into droplets. For sufficiently high values of the liquid's surface tension, relative to the bending stiffness of the tube, the additional compressive load induced by the development of the axisymmetric instability can induce non-axisymmetric buckling of the tube wall. Once the tube has buckled, a strong destabilizing feedback between the fluid and solid mechanics leads to an extremely rapid further collapse and occlusion of the gas-conveying core of the tube by the liquid. We find that such occlusion is possible even when the volume of the liquid is too small to form an occluding liquid bridge in the axisymmetric tube.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:pulmonary airway closure, free-surface Navier–Stokes equations, thin-shell theory, fluid–structure interaction
Subjects:MSC 2000 > 76 Fluid mechanics
MSC 2000 > 92 Biology and other natural sciences
MIMS number:2007.22
Deposited By:Miss Louise Stait
Deposited On:22 March 2007

Download Statistics: last 4 weeks
Repository Staff Only: edit this item