A numerical investigation of pulmonary flow properties was carried out in a monoalveolar model composed of a balloon and a compliant tube in series, subjected to pressure ramps. The flow is shown to become quickly limited by a wave-speed mechanism, occurring at the peak flow. The critical point then travels upstream, while the main part of the exit flow rate is provided by the tube collapse. After the critical flow period, the flow becomes subcritical and viscous effects are predominant in the deeply collapsed tube.

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