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Adam S Burbidge, Julie A. Y. Cichero, Jan Engmann, Catirona M. Steele
''A day in the life of the fluid bolus'': An introduction to fluid mechanics of the oropharyngeal phase of swallowing with particular focus on dysphagia.

Appl. Rheol. 26:6 (2016) 64525 (10 pages)

By following the path of a liquid bolus, from the oral preparatory phase to the esophagus, we show that a few fundamental concepts of fluid mechanics can be used to better understand and assess the importance of bolus viscosity during human swallowing, especially when considering dysfunctional swallowing (dysphagia) and how it can be mitigated. In particular, we highlight the important distinction between different flow regimes (i.e. viscosity controlled versus. inertia controlled flow). We also illustrate the difference between understanding bolus movements controlled by a constant force (or pressure) and those controlled by a constant displacement (or velocity). We limit our discussion to simple, Newtonian liquids where the viscosity does not depend on the speed of flow. Consideration of non-Newtonian effects (such as shear thinning or viscoelasticity), which we believe play an important part in human swallowing, requires a sound grasp of the fundamentals discussed here and warrants further consideration in its own right.

Cite this publication as follows:
Burbidge AS, Cichero JAY, Engmann J, Steele CM: ''A day in the life of the fluid bolus'': An introduction to fluid mechanics of the oropharyngeal phase of swallowing with particular focus on dysphagia., Appl. Rheol. 26 (2016) 64525.


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