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Lung Chaste: developing software for multiscale lung ventilation simulations

Introduction and aims

Computational models of ventilation in the lung have improved our understanding of the structure, dynamics and function of the human lung in both health and disease. Reduced dimensional models contain sufficient structural detail to investigate a wide array of phenomena whilst remaining computationally tractable. Such models have been used to investigate both physiological questions and clinical indices. Recently, advanced multiscale models incorporating biophysically detailed representations of airway mechanics have been developed. The airway mechanics models are coupled to the organ scale ventilation model allowing the full integrated system to be studied.

Whilst a number of reduced dimensional respiratory modelling codes exist, they all have one or more of the following important limitations: (i) they are not generic - they have been developed for specific applications based on the particular scientific interests of the developers; (ii) they have not been developed using state-of-the-art software engineering methods, and therefore are difficult to adapt and may not have been fully tested; (iii) they are not freely available to the scientific community;

The overall objective of the Lung Chaste project is to develop a novel, generic and efficient lung modelling software package that is both tested and validated. The use of advanced software engineering techniques, and close interaction with academic and clinical collaborators as well as with end users, ensures that the resulting software forms a robust, user friendly, production level platform for the investigation of important scientific questions related to respiratory function in health and disease. We expect this software to support the user community to move on to investigate the next generation of respiratory physiology research.

User functionality

Example simulation results

Respiratory simulations can be viewed on the Chaste YouTube channel.


Lung Chaste has largely been funded through the AirPROM (Airways disease predicting outcomes through patient specific computational modelling) EU Framework seven project (grant agreement number 270194 )

AirPROM logo