MechE Colloquium: Revisiting airflow and aerosol transport phenomena in the deep lungs


Event details

Date 05.04.2022 12:0013:00  
Speaker Prof. Josué Sznitman, Technion Biofluids Laboratory, Technion Israel Institute of Technology
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Face masks are recommended for in-person attendance in MED 0 1418.

Mapping respiratory airflows and the transport mechanisms of inhaled aerosols characteristic of the deep regions of the lungs are of broad interest in assessing both pulmonary health risks and inhalation therapy outcomes. In the present talk, I will discuss our current understanding of such phenomena that take place within the complex anatomical environment of the deep lungs, characterized by submillimeter 3D alveolated airspaces and nominally slow resident airflows, also known as low-Reynolds-number flows. I will exemplify advances brought forward by experimental efforts, in conjunction with numerical simulations, to revisit past mechanistic theories of respiratory airflow and particle transport in the distal lung regions. Most significantly, I will highlight how microfluidics spanning the past decade have accelerated opportunities to deliver anatomically inspired in vitro solutions that capture with sufficient realism and accuracy the leading mechanisms governing both respiratory airflow and aerosol transport at true scale. Such efforts have provided previously unattainable in vitro quantifications on the local transport properties in the deep pulmonary acinar airways, with new paths to resolve mechanistic interactions between airborne particulate carriers and respiratory airflows at the pulmonary microscales.

Bio: Josué Sznitman is a Swiss, French and Israeli national. Sznitman graduated from MIT with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering (2002), followed by a Dr. Sc. (2008) from the ETH Zurich. In 2008, Sznitman joined the University of Pennsylvania as a Postdoctoral Fellow and moved to Princeton University as a Lecturer and Research Associate, appointed by the Princeton Council of Science & Technology. He joined the Technion in 2010 as a tenure-track Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2016. Sznitman has established himself as a leading figure in respiratory biomechanics and transport phenomena, with a focus on drug delivery to the lungs including inhalation therapy. Sznitman has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles and is a co-inventor on several patents. He is an associate editor for the Journal of Biomechanics, Clinical Biomechanics and Frontiers in Bioengineering & Biotechnology and serves as a member of the Editorial Board of Biomicrofluidics and the European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Among his accolades, Sznitman was awarded the Young Investigator Award (2015) by the International Society of Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM) for a researcher under 40 and the 2018 Emerging Scientist Award in Drug Delivery to the Lungs (The Aerosol Society, UK). His recent dissemination activities have included a TEDx Talk (2019) titled “From race cars to the lungs” (available at:

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free



MechE Colloquium Spring 2022 Series: Revisiting airflow and aerosol transport phenomena in the deep lungs