Visual Analysis of Airflow Phenomena Within the Human Nose

  • 2009-01-16
  • Research

Our objective is to analyze and understand the physiology and patho-physiology of normal nasal breathing.

  • Starts at


Our objective is to analyze and understand the physiology and patho-physiology of normal nasal breathing. To this end, airflow simulations based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) are conducted for a highly detailed anatomy of the upper respiratory tract from the external nose deep into the trachea, including frontal and maxillary sinuses, as well as the ethmoid. Complex flow phenomena are investigated with regard to individual anatomy and its variations. We are aiming to gain insight into the relationship between morphology and flow behaviour in order to provide general treatment proposals and to develop computer assisted planning tools for decision support in functional rhinosurgery.


Stefan Zachow is currently heading the ‘medical planning’ group at ZIB (Zuse-Institute Berlin). His interests are on: computer assisted surgery, visualization, geometric modeling, surgery planning, and simulation. Stefan started working in the medical field in 1989 with an internship at Siemens Medical Systems R&D, Princeton NJ, USA. He received a degree in computer engineering (M.S. / Dipl.-Ing.) in 1991, and a degree in computer science (M.S. / Dipl.-Inform.) in 1999. His first thesis was done in cooperation with the German Heart Institute Berlin. The second thesis in cooperation with the Surgical Robotics Lab, Charité Berlin. During his Ph.D. studies between 1999 and 2005 he finished another postgradual study in Medical Physics. Stefan obtained his Ph.D. in computer science in 2005 with his work on computer assisted planning for cranio-maxillofacial surgery. He is a member of the IEEE computer society, the ACM Siggraph, the Int. Society for Computer Aided Surgery, and the German societies for computer and robot assisted surgery (curac) as well as GI visual computing in medicine.


  • Stefan Zachow, Zuse-Institut-Berlin

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