Computational lung modelling in respiratory medicine

Sunder Neelakantan, Yi Xin, Donald P. Gaver, Maurizio Cereda, Rahim Rizi, Bradford J. Smith, Reza Avazmohammadi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Computational modelling of the lungs is an active field of study that integrates computational advances with lung biophysics, biomechanics, physiology and medical imaging to promote individualized diagnosis, prognosis and therapy evaluation in lung diseases. The complex and hierarchical architecture of the lung offers a rich, but also challenging, research area demanding a cross-scale understanding of lung mechanics and advanced computational tools to effectively model lung biomechanics in both health and disease. Various approaches have been proposed to study different aspects of respiration, ranging from compartmental to discrete micromechanical and continuum representations of the lungs. This article reviews several developments in computational lung modelling and how they are integrated with preclinical and clinical data. We begin with a description of lung anatomy and how different tissue components across multiple length scales affect lung mechanics at the organ level. We then review common physiological and imaging data acquisition methods used to inform modelling efforts. Building on these reviews, we next present a selection of model-based paradigms that integrate data acquisitions with modelling to understand, simulate and predict lung dynamics in health and disease. Finally, we highlight possible future directions where computational modelling can improve our understanding of the structure-function relationship in the lung.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20220062
Pages (from-to)20220062
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Issue number191
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • computational modelling
  • Lung biomechanics
  • lung biophysical models
  • lung imaging
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Lung/diagnostic imaging
  • Computer Simulation
  • Biophysics
  • Pulmonary Medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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