A model experiment to study swallowing of spherical and elongated particles
1 Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK
2 Nestlé Research Center, Route du Jorat 57, 1000 Lausanne 26, Switzerland
* e-mail: email@example.com
Published online: 30 June 2017
Swallowing disorders are not uncommon among elderly and people affected by neurological diseases. For these patients the ingestion of solid grains, such as pharmaceutical oral solid formulations, could result in choking. This generally results in a low compliance in taking solid medications. The effect of the solid medication size on the real or perceived ease of swallowing is still to be understood from the mechanistic viewpoint. The interplay of the inclusion shape and the rheology of the liquid being swallowed together with the medication is also not fully understood. In this study, a model experiment was developed to study the oropharyngeal phase of swallowing, replicating the dynamics of the bolus flow induced by the tongue (by means of a roller driven by an applied force). Experiments were performed using a wide set of solid inclusions, dispersed in a thick Newtonian liquid. Predictions for a simple theory are compared with experiments. Results show that an increase in the grain size results in a slower dynamics of the swallowing. Furthermore, the experiments demonstrated the paramount role of shape, as flatter and more streamlined inclusions flow faster than spherical. This approach can support the design of new oral solid formulations that can be ingested more easily and effectively also by people with mild swallowing disorders.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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