Nuclear Techniques ›› 2019, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (11): 110302-110302.doi: 10.11889/j.0253-3219.2019.hjs.42.110302


Human respiratory tract model of uranium-containing compounds and calculation of pulmonary retention under single inhalation

Weiye YUAN,Yidi WANG,Yue XI,Liang SUN,Yu TU()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Radiation Medicine and Protection, School of Radiation Medicine and Protection and Collaborative Innovation Centre of Radiation Medicine of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
  • Received:2019-07-02 Revised:2019-09-17 Online:2019-11-10 Published:2019-11-18
  • Contact: Yu TU
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(11575124);Nuclear Energy Development Project([2016]1295)

Abstract: Background

In the production process of nuclear industry, excessive intake of aerosols uranium-containing compounds due to accidents or other circumstances occurs from time to time.


This study aims to investigate the deposition and transfer of internal contamination caused by inhalation of radioactive uranium aerosols.


The latest respiratory tract model based on the Simulink simulation tool in MATLAB software was established according to the 130th report published by the ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection). Distribution and retention of uranium aerosols in the lung were simulated by combining with the specific biological metabolism and physical characteristics of several uranium containing compounds, so as to evaluate and predict the health hazard of internal pollution to patients.


Simulation results show that 55.37% of single inhalation of UF6 entered the gastrointestinal tract and 12.89% was absorbed by blood and discharged from the lungs within the next few days. After inhalation of ADU, UO3 and UF4, these compounds stay in the lungs for a long time, and it takes about 300~1 000 days to clear from the lungs. Insoluble compounds such as UO2 and U3O8 will remain in the lung for more than 20 years.


The distribution and retention of different uranium compounds in vivo are different, and the treatment method needs to be selected according to the actual situation.

Key words: Internal irradiation, MATLAB, Uranium, Biokinetics

CLC Number: 

  • R144