The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been growing over the last few decades, but the treatment outcome differs from person to person. Interest in patient-specific modeling has increased substantially. The availability of detailed clinical data together with efficient numerical methods has now made the fluid-structure interaction modeling feasible.
The current study uses 3-D two-way fluid-structure interaction to provide simulation results of the sleep apnea symptom in a female patient with severe sleep apnea. A unique suture-patch device is presented and used to virtually apply force to the tongue.
As simulation shows, this device effectively reduced the risk of the upper airway occlusion and opened up the upper airway at the pharynx about 92% of the original area at the peak inhale volume, which will provide a possible treatment for this patient. A parametric study has been added to study the location of the patch. This pilot study may be helpful for further operation, medical treatment plan, and improvement of the curing rate.