South Africa
Overview of research project
This project performs a Continuum Fluid Dynamics CFD study of droplet based transmission and airborne transmission for Tuberculosis (TB) and COVID-19 scenarios in real clinical environments. The study focuses on the probability of infection for either disease as a function of the environment and how the environment is engineered. The CFD is extended to be able to model a phenomenological medical parameter of infectiousness as a function of droplet based physical, chemical and medical parameters, as they evolve in the ambient and local fluid flow environment. The local environment is realistic and specific to real and actual environments in South African Hospitals and Clinics. This is achieved by a chain of 4IR high technology stages. It begins with laser generated point cloud, supplemented by conventional digitally acquired “3D” photographic images. Data merging of these two sources and processing with High Performance Computing leads to a virtual model of the environment as a Computer Assisted Design (CAD) rendition. Further High Performance Computing is then used to reduce the details in certain areas, enhancing it in others, to provide a CFD voxelised 3D volume filling polyhedral mesh, which terminates at all surfaces in the local environment. This volumetric mesh, supplemented by specification of boundary conditions, physical, material and thermodynamic, is the starting point of the CFD calculations of droplet transport and time evolution. Different engineering interventions to prevent transmission are investigated and evaluated in this study. The impact of departure from the intended engineered environment due to insufficient maintenance, or inadequate design and implementation or simply due to actions of the people in the environment will be evaluated. Ultimately the study will evaluate engineered interventions for both TB and COVID-19 in terms of the safety of health workers on the frontlines of these epidemics, and in terms of hospital transmission. The nuances of transmission in these environments with different diseases can be studied and the environments can be optimised for safety.
Name of researcher/developer
Dr Muaaz Bhamjee
Primary organisation
University of Johannesburg
Opportunity type
Opportunity detail
We have the Team, the several Collaborating Groups, Expertise and Equipment.
We have Medical Researcher Partners, Engineers, Physicists, Industry experts and also collaborators from Africa
We would like funding for students and Post Docs, as we need person power.
We have made a start based on our residual resources available.
No funding to date to undertake project
Stage of development
We have Laser Point Scans of the PHRU clinic in Baragwanath, also of a hospital in KZN, we have meshed these for input to CFD, we have imported the former to ANSYS Fluent, and have a basic CFD Model. We have a literature search on Droplet Infectiousness Evolution as droplets leave the source (cough, sneeze, speech, breathing) and progresses through the air and onto surfaces. We have also technical specifications for engineered solutions. We are building these into the CFD modelling.
Collaboration partner
Public Health Research Unit
Right to Care
University of Johannesburg
Delta Scan
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Technical University Tshwane
Various students from South Africa and Africa
Research Category