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Aerosol Science 38 (2006) 246 – 253 www.elsevier.


Technical note

A general, algebraic equation for predicting total respiratory tract deposition of micrometer-sized aerosol particles in humans
Andrew R. Martin, Warren H. Finlay∗
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta., Canada T6G 2G8 Received 26 July 2006; received in revised form 17 October 2006; accepted 1 November 2006

Abstract Prediction of the total respiratory tract deposition fraction of an inhaled aerosol is useful in assessing its potential inhalation health risk, or its therapeutic benefit. In this communication, a simple algebraic formulation is presented through which the total deposition fraction can be predicted from dynamical, dimensionless parameters governing inertial and gravitational deposition of inhaled micrometer-scale particles. An empirical fit is first made to the total deposition fraction data of Heyder et al. [1986. Deposition of particles in the human respiratory tract in the size range 0.005–15 m. Journal of Aerosol Science, 17, 811–825] and Kim and Hu [2006. Total respiratory tract deposition of fine micrometer-sized particles in healthy adults: Empirical equations for gender and breathing pattern. Journal of Applied Physiology, 101, 401–412] for healthy adults, during controlled oral breathing of monodisperse micrometer-scale particles. The generality of the resulting formulation based on such dimensionless parameters is then examined by its ability to predict total deposition data measured in children [Schiller-Scotland, C. H. F., Hlawa, R., Gebhart, J., Wönne, R., & Heyder, J. (1992). Total deposition of aerosol particles in the respiratory tract of children during spontaneous and controlled mouth breathing. Journal of Aerosol Science, 23 (Suppl. 1), S457–S460], in microgravity and hypergravity [Darquenne, C., Paiva, M., West, J. B., & Prisk, G. K. (1997). Effect of microgravity and hypergravity on deposition of 0.5- to 3- m-diameter aerosol in the human lung. Journal of Applied Physiology, 83, 2029–2036], and in heliox as an alternative carrier gas [Darquenne, C., & Prisk, G. K. (2004). Aerosol deposition in the human respiratory tract breathing air and 80:20 heliox. Journal of Aerosol Medicine, 17, 278–285]. A single dimensionless correlation is found to provide reasonable prediction of total deposition in all these diverse cases. ᭧ 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Inhaled aerosols; Respiratory tract; Total deposition fraction; Lung deposition

1. Introduction Prediction of the total respiratory tract deposition of an inhaled aerosol in a given individual or group is valuable in gauging both the potential health risk of environmental aerosols, and the therapeutic effect of pharmaceutical aerosols. While regional separation of total deposition into extrathoracic, tracheo-bronchial, and alveolar fractions is valuable in assessing the health effects of many inhaled aerosols, for a variety of subpopulations, including children, and in certain environments, such as in microgravity, regional deposition data are not widely available. Heyder, Gebhart, Rudolf, Schiller, and Stahlhofen (1986) have previously summarized extensive studies measuring total respiratory tract
∗ Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 780 492 4707.

E-mail addresses: (A.R. Martin), (W.H. Finlay). 0021-8502/$ - see front matter ᭧ 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jaerosci.2006.11.002

1986). Deposition of micrometer-sized particles in healthy adult subjects (Heyder et al.H... in children (Schiller-Scotland. 2001) to increase with the dimensionless parameter t = 2CC g d 2 LD .. For each of these mechanisms. Becquemin. In the present communication. tidal volume. in microgravity and hypergravity (Darquenne. for which deposition by diffusion is assumed to be negligible. examine the dependence of total respiratory tract deposition on dimensionless parameters known to influence aerosol deposition in bifurcating airways. however. For airways randomly oriented with respect to gravity. 2006). A dimensionless parameter governing deposition by diffusion can also be determined under the assumption of particular gas velocity fields. tidal volume. the flow rate at the mouth is the clear choice as its . 2001) indicate that the probability of inertial deposition in an airway increases monotonically with the Stokes number. dynamical parameter (Finlay. Hlawa. 2001). Reasonable agreement was reported between predicted and experimentally determined deposition efficiencies averaged over several age groups (Yu et al. A similar algebraic formulation to that of Kim and Hu (2006) was presented by Yu. Rudolf. Morton. The best known of these parameters is probably the Stokes number.R. Nevertheless. in an attempt to extend their results to include a wider range of factors. Kim & Hu. Heyder et al. Wönne. algebraic models were developed to predict total and regional deposition as functions of a number of dimensional parameters and approximate airway dimensions (ICRP. 1992). In order to estimate total respiratory tract deposition. West. is the particle density. possibly resulting from differences between average male and female lung volumes. Roy. 2. For the former. average total respiratory tract deposition measured in healthy male and female adult subjects over a variety of controlled flow conditions collapsed remarkably well when plotted against a simple composite parameter related to aerodynamic particle diameter. monodisperse. some variation between male and female subjects was observed. Qa is the flow rate through the given airway.A. & Heyder. 1997). 9 D3 (1) where CC is the Cunningham slip correction factor. semi-empirical. Gebhart. Paiva. and age in years. 2004) is considered. by Finlay. or from other disparities in airway anatomy between genders (Kim & Hu. These researchers found that for given tidal volumes and flow rates. W. electrically neutral aerosols in healthy adult subjects during controlled oral breathing. we follow an approach similar to that taken by Kim and Hu (2006) and Yu et al. and L is the airway length. the probability of deposition in a given lung generation increases monotonically with a specific dimensionless.g. 1994. gravitational sedimentation. and Brownian diffusion. Numerous empirical correlations (as reviewed. 1990). 1986. 1975). and Bouchiki (1992). at present we consider micrometer-sized particles. Kim and Hu (2006) demonstrated that for micrometer-sized particles. Recently. and flow rate. associated with deposition by inertial impaction. & Stahlhofen. Wang. d is the particle diameter. stable. and D is the airway diameter. The dimensionless parameters given in Eqs. and in different carrier gases (Darquenne & Prisk. 1992). but. where total deposition efficiency for children and adults was expressed as a function of particle diameter. for example. Martin. Zhang. breathing period. total respiratory tract deposition varied with aerodynamic particle diameter along now well-recognized U-shaped curves (e. is the dynamic viscosity of the carrier gas. 1964. Heyder & Gebhart. 2006). Finlay / Aerosol Science 38 (2006) 246 – 253 247 deposition of compact. The probability of deposition by gravitational sedimentation in cylindrical airways can be determined analytically for several gas velocity fields likely to occur in the lung (Fuchs. 9 Qa (2) where g is the acceleration due to gravity. (1) and (2) are expressed in terms of flow rate and geometric dimensions specific to a given airway. 1977. the probability of deposition by sedimentation can be shown (Finlay. 1935. Kobrich. Dimensionless parameters Deposition of compact particles in the respiratory tract occurs due to three principal deposition mechanisms: inertial impaction. a characteristic flow rate and length scale over the entire respiratory tract is required. Based on such data. (1992). and expressed here as Stk = 2 C C d 2 Qa . & Prisk.

the cube root of the functional residual capacity. The first term in Eq. and a group of seven women with average functional residual capacity of 3050 cm3 . t ∗ .H. the likelihood of deposition by sedimentation can be expected to increase with tidal volume. Burnell. deposition by sedimentation is expected to increase with the ratio of tidal volume to functional residual capacity because larger relative tidal volumes will carry particles into deeper lung generations. Data for both men and women cover particle diameters ranging from 1 to 5 m. tidal volumes from 350 to 1500 cm3 . a composite parameter must be formed from the three dimensionless parameters described above. At present. It is proposed that the total deposition fraction should increase monotonically with the parameter X. In addition to these. and Finlay (2004) have demonstrated that the fluid Reynolds number should be included in correlations used to predict extrathoracic deposition. the parameter Vt /FRC. (5) where A. Heenan. Kim and Hu’s (2006) data are separated into a group of eight men with average functional residual capacity of 3730 cm3 . (FRC)1/3 . C. In contrast. Both these groups measured the total deposition fraction during controlled oral breathing in healthy adult subjects using an inline laser aerosol photometer. is here introduced. as Stk ∗ = and t∗ = CC g d 2 (FRC)2/3 . (1986) studied three subjects with an average functional residual capacity of 3000 cm3 . for tidal volumes ranging from 500 to 2000 cm3 .R. . whereas the second term relates to deposition by sedimentation. the ability of the three proposed dimensionless parameters to predict total respiratory tract deposition is investigated. Also.’s (1986) data for particles ranging in aerodynamic diameter from 1 to 15 m. (5) relates to deposition by impaction. Experimental data from Heyder et al. (1992) formed an expression for total respiratory tract deposition based instead on dimensional parameters. Therefore. respectively. Martin. 1986. Deposition in adults To attempt to collapse total deposition fraction data onto a single curve. we choose the form X = (Stk∗ )A + (t ∗ )B Vt FRC C . and are constants. changes to the Reynolds number may affect the distribution of that deposition between the extrathoracic airways and other regions. however. It is assumed here that deposition by impaction does not depend on tidal volume because normal tidal volumes are considerably greater than the cumulative volume of the upper and central airways. (5). Heyder et al. An effective “whole-lung” Stokes number and sedimentation parameter may therefore be expressed. At present. we consider Heyder et al. (1986) and from Kim and Hu (2006) may be plotted against the logarithm of the parameter X defined in Eq. Heyder et al.. (1992). Finlay / Aerosol Science 38 (2006) 246 – 253 affect on the total deposition fraction of inhaled aerosols is well noted (e.1. and for flow rates ranging from 125 to 750 cm3 /s. Yu et al. W. wherein airway diameters and air velocities are smaller. Kim & Hu. Therefore. Grgic. B. can be used. For a characteristic length scale. while it may be that total deposition in the respiratory tract is independent of the fluid Reynolds number. where Vt is the tidal volume. At present. 2006). a third dimensionless parameter is required in order to describe the depth into the lung to which an inhaled aerosol penetrates. However. Because air velocities and airway diameters become smaller moving deeper into the lung. These three dimensionless.g. and Vt /FRC—are similar to those described by Yu et al. Q (4) CC d 2 Q (FRC) (3) where Q is the flow rate at the mouth. dynamical parameters—Stk∗ . 3.248 A. Empirical correlation 3. where impaction occurs. and flow rates from 150 to 1000 cm3 /s. an assumption that seems reasonable given the results of Kim and Hu (2006). it should be noted that the fluid Reynolds number is not included in the equation for the parameter X.

H. B = 0. however. C = 0.92 curve fit given by TDF = −6 −2.92. tidal volume.08.8. Schiller-Scotland et al. however. (3) in determining Stk∗ . could be used in Eq. 1. Sigmoid 0. it appears that this divergence may be somewhat reduced. it is reasonable to examine the ability of Eqs. (5). The constants in Eqs. an alternative length scale other than (FRC)1/3 . accounting for gender differences. (1986) and from Kim and Hu (2006) are plotted against the parameter ln(X) in Fig. Deposition in children The present correlation for predicting total deposition fraction can be evaluated for generality by considering deposition occurring in certain other special cases.4. Kim and Hu (2006) obtained a similar result for their data by plotting the total deposition fraction against a composite parameter based on flow rate. d = 0. c = 2. b = 4. W.A. differences in total deposition fraction between men and women would not be fully accounted for by differences in functional residual capacity. they noted a divergence at high total deposition fractions between values obtained for men and for women. b. Finlay / Aerosol Science 38 (2006) 246 – 253 249 Fig.01.09 × 10−6 . 3.08. By including functional residual capacity in the present correlation.06.0 years old during controlled oral .6 ± 2.09×10 )e Average total deposition fractions from Heyder et al.R.8. = 0.2. Also included in Fig. (5) and (6) were determined by nonlinear least squares curve fitting to be A = 0. (1992) determined total deposition fraction using an inline laser photometer in 23 children aged 10. and d are constants. with X given by Eq. Total in vivo deposition fractions measured in healthy adults during oral breathing are plotted against ln(X). 1+(4. In such a case. though the trend of slightly higher deposition in women than in men where total deposition fractions are large persists to some extent. (7) Data from both studies collapse quite well when plotted against the parameter ln(X). 1 + be−c ln(X) (6) where a. 1. If by scaling Stk∗ and t ∗ with (FRC)1/3 the effect of lung size on total deposition can be estimated. even where lung size is the same.98) of the form TDF = a + d. because deposition in the conducting airways primarily occurs by impaction. and particle aerodynamic diameter. Martin. (5)–(7) to predict deposition in children. a = 0.06 ln(X) + 0. c. 1 is a best-fit sigmoid curve (r 2 = 0. If Kim and Hu’s (2006) hypothesis is correct. Much less data are available in children than in adults. Kim and Hu (2006) have suggested this gender difference may result from smaller dimensions of the conducting airways in women than in men.

6g ). t ∗ . Roy. (1986) and Kim and Hu (2006) taken under normal gravity fairly closely. and attributed these to differences in the experimental techniques employed by the two groups. ranging in diameter from 1 to 3 m. with X given by Eq. and hypergravity (1. (5). Average total deposition fraction is plotted against ln(X ) in Fig. As the deposition value corresponding to each subject’s tidal volume and flow rate was not reported. microgravity. The sigmoid curve fit from Fig. (1991) for children breathing micrometer-scale particles under normal conditions (though it was noted that in general the model predictions did not differ significantly from either set of experimental data). Roy.5 to 3 m. (5). Becquemin. The average functional residual capacity of those children participating in the study for each particle size (n ranges from 5 for 3 m particles to 18 for 1 m particles) was used in Eqs. 2. (1992) report the height of each child studied. tidal volume and flow rate were not constant for each group..’s (1997) data follow the curve fit to the data of Heyder et al.3. Q = 250 cm3 /s) for four particle sizes. we consider only particles of 1 m and larger diameter. (1992). we have made the assumption that they were all boys in applying Cook and Hamann’s (1961) correlation. 3.250 A. W. (1992) are plotted against the parameter ln(X ) in Fig. . we cannot include Becquemin et al. differences in lung size between genders are small for children (Stocks & Quanjer. 2. Darquenne et al. in the composite parameter defined in Eq. Average total deposition fractions determined by Schiller-Scotland et al. Deposition was determined for particles ranging in diameter from 0. Total in vivo deposition fractions measured for a variety of special conditions are plotted against ln(X ). This trend was reaffirmed in a recent study by Isaacs and Martonen (2005). (1997) have reported total deposition fraction measured in four healthy adult subjects breathing at a controlled tidal volume (750 cm3 ) and flow rate (400 cm3 /s) under normal gravity conditions. (1992) but over predict data from Becquemin et al. Schiller-Scotland et al. but rather were scaled according to body weight (Becquemin et al. in which a numerical model tended to under predict total deposition data from Schiller-Scotland et al. and Teillac (1986). 1995). Two male and two female subjects were studied.R. As seen in Fig. and Bouchikhi (1991) have also measured the total deposition fraction in groups of children during controlled oral breathing. however. Furthermore. 1 is also included.H. 2. A mean functional residual capacity for each age group was reported. Fortunately. 2. (1993).’s (1992) and Becquemin et al. breathing (Vt = 500 cm3 . Martin. (3) and (4) to calculate the governing dimensionless parameters. Yu. Finlay / Aerosol Science 38 (2006) 246 – 253 Fig. Deposition in hypergravity and microgravity Due to the inclusion of the sedimentation parameter. from which functional residual capacity may be estimated using the correlation given by Cook and Hamann (1961) and recommended by Stocks and Quanjer (1995). the data of Schiller-Scotland et al. (1992) for children follow the same curve as the adult data quite closely. at present. however. Schiller-Scotland et al. the effects of gravity on total deposition fraction may be estimated. As the gender of each child was not reported by Schiller-Scotland et al. functional residual capacity was calculated for use in the present analysis from the age and height of each subject according to the correlations for men and women provided by Quanjer et al. Bouchikhi. Darquenne et al.’s (1991) data should be made with some caution. This value ranged from 1405 to 1786 cm3 . The mean functional residual capacity for the four subjects was 3018 cm3 . 1991).’s (1991) data in the present comparisons. so that direct comparison between Schiller-Scotland et al. (1992) noted differences between their own data and that of a previous study by Becquemin.

(5)–(7) under the assumption that diffusion and impaction act independently. d Measured by Darquenne et al. reasonable agreement is seen with the curve fit to Heyder et al. Of these.7 12. In Table 1. (1997) is improved. it appears that the inclusion of gravitational acceleration in the calculation of the sedimentation parameter (Eq. Total deposition fractions determined for 1 and 2 m diameter particles are plotted against ln(X) in Fig. 2004. The total deposition fraction varies little between air and heliox (with all other variables held constant). Three female subjects and five male subjects were studied. b Predicted from Kim and Jaques (2004). Spektor. though in smaller fractions. (1993). inhalation flow rate. To examine this hypothesis. The results of Darquenne and Prisk (2004) therefore support our present assumption that the fluid Reynolds number (which depends on fluid density) does not need to be included in correlations used to predict the total deposition fraction. The mean functional residual capacity of the subjects was 3102 cm3 . (2004) include the fluid Reynolds number in correlations used to predict extrathoracic deposition. Consequently.g. (1986) and Kim and Hu (2006). Philipson. 1988.’s (1986) and Kim and Hu’s (2006) data. so that the predicted deposition values resulting from the two mechanisms can be linearly superimposed. (1997) proposed that in the absence of gravity. 1989) have measured respiratory tract deposition of aerosols using heliox as an alternative carrier gas to air. Functional residual capacity for each subject was again calculated from the age and height of each subject according to the correlations for men and women provided by Quanjer et al. 2. (1997). It is important to note that extrapolation of Kim and Jaques’ (2004) equation to micrometer-sized particles is reasonable only in microgravity.0 Diffusionb 5. Esch. while the density . where particle sedimentation does not occur. micrometer-scale particles that would otherwise deposit due to sedimentation deposit instead due to particle diffusion.1 9. a small but consistent under prediction of total deposition in microgravity can be seen in Fig.04 2. For the range of particle sizes considered. and have not been considered in the present analysis.A. That said. air and heliox vary little in dynamic viscosity.9 15. 2. (1997) in microgravity and hypergravity. and tidal volume. Q = 458 cm3 ) of air and of 80:20 heliox using an experimental technique similar to those of Heyder et al. Indeed. & Lippmann. such as the changes to lung morphology that occur in microgravity.1 Combinedc 13. (4)) allows for reasonably accurate prediction of the total deposition fraction measured by Darquenne et al.8 3. 1993. Darquenne et al.1 251 Experimentald 12. but much more so in density. Finlay / Aerosol Science 38 (2006) 246 – 253 Table 1 Prediction of the total deposition fraction in microgravity for healthy adults during oral breathing Particle diameter ( m) Total deposition fraction (%) Impactiona 1.07 2. As seen in Table 1. In contrast. (3) and (4). additional factors. prediction of the total deposition fractions in microgravity measured by Darquenne et al. Anderson. Martin. which appears in the present correlation in Eqs.9 All values are for a tidal volume of 750 cm3 . which does not appear in the present correlations. albeit in an approximate fashion. While this result is encouraging. since a large fraction of these particles would deposit instead by sedimentation. in which the total deposition fraction due solely to diffusion was predicted for ultrafine particles from the particle diffusion coefficient. and a flow rate of 400 cm3 /s.0 11.6 3. would over estimate diffusional deposition of micrometer-sized particles. Darquenne & Prisk. & Camner. Again. these results are added to the total deposition fraction predicted from Eqs. Bylin. Svartengren. Anderson. c Combined = impaction + diffusion. Deposition with heliox A number of studies (e. by accounting for deposition due to diffusion. W. Grgic et al. & Camner. we estimated the average deposition due to diffusion in healthy adult subjects in microgravity using the semi-empirical equation presented by Kim and Jaques (2004). as was concluded by Darquenne and Prisk (2004). (5)–(7).R. Kim and Jaques’ (2004) equation. and any equation like it. Darquenne and Prisk (2004) measured total deposition fractions in healthy adult subjects during controlled oral breathing (Vt = 918 cm3 . a Predicted from Eqs. may affect respiratory tract deposition of inhaled particles. Philipson.H. Svartengren. 3.4. In normal gravity.8 14.92 8.5 14.

In situations where regional deposition patterns within the lung are not readily available. coupled with correlations that estimate extrathoracic deposition (Grgic et al. & Teillac. 1989). A.. Journal of Applied Physiology. K. Cook. H. M. Total deposition of inhaled particles related to age: Comparison with age-dependent model calculations. K. M. Stahlhofen. (2004). M. provided that the volume and path length of the individual’s extrathoracic region are known. lung deposition The correlation presented here may be used to predict total respiratory tract deposition of micrometer-sized particles in healthy adults during oral. & Prisk. 23–28. 278–285. Heyder. New York: 3. Darquenne. as only a few data points were available for each of these cases with which the correlation could be evaluated.. Philipson.. (2001).H.. those correlations given for extrathoracic deposition by Stahlhofen et al.. G. C. it likely does lead to shifts in regional deposition patterns. Aerosol deposition in the human respiratory tract breathing air and 80: 20 heliox. first order measure of aerosol exposure.. C. 1025–1040. (1961).. 1989). Finlay / Aerosol Science 38 (2006) 246 – 253 of the carrier gas may not affect total respiratory tract deposition.R. The mechanics of aerosols (p. September 18–20. Svartengren. these predicted regional deposition fractions can be difficult to validate in vivo. & Gebhart. (1986). P. 2029–2036. M. (1977). & Prisk. Deposition in asthmatics of particles inhaled in air or in helium-oxygen.. C. On the other hand. 2004. (5) might be used to predict deposition in such a wide variety of circumstances. Prediction of lung deposition in individuals should aid in identifying those individuals most at risk to aerosol exposure. The mechanics of inhaled pharmaceutical aerosols. Bouchikhi. 147. P. & Finlay. Becquemin. 83.’s (2004) correlation allows for prediction of the extrathoracic deposition in an individual.. 14. London: Academic Press. Paiva. Salzburg. Martin.. it is an attractive possibility that one composite parameter of the form described in Eq. W. Darquenne. and of the Alberta Ingenuity fund is greatly appreciated. Relation of lung volumes to height in healthy persons between the ages of 5 and 38 years. N. Rudolf. the present correlation provides a simple means for predicting lung deposition. intersubject variability around that average is known to be large (Stahlhofen et al.. & Bouchikhi. Esch. (1997). D. J. 4. American Review of Respiratory Disease. Spektor. J. For such an evaluation. (1964). M. West. J. In vitro intersubject and intrasubject deposition measurements in realistic mouth-throat geometries. M. Experimental studies in human and canine lungs. Roy. Effects of lung airway branching pattern and gas composition on particle deposition. (2004). 1986. K. Finlay. in microgravity and hypergravity. Deposition of inhaled particles in healthy children.. As is the case for the present equation for the total deposition fraction. (1989) and Rudolf et al. A. 38.. Fuchs. W. K... 321–348. Gravitational deposition of particles from laminar aerosol flow through inclined circular tubes. 35. (1991). & James. 59. & Lippmann. II.. Burnell. J. References Anderson. which is the conclusion arrived at by Darquenne and Prisk (2004). Experimental Lung Research. B. J. B. Effect of microgravity and hypergravity on deposition of 0. L. W.. G. for example. 17. total respiratory tract deposition provides a coarse. Journal of Pediatrics.. tracheo-bronchial and alveolar fractions. a straightforward method for predicting aggregate lung deposition may be sufficient in estimating exposure. 264). M. 710–714. (1993).. By itself. Radiation Protection Dosimetry. Bylin. 22–27. A. 289–295. F. Heenan. tidal breathing... Acknowledgements The financial support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. F. C. & Camner. & Hamann. Caution should be used in applying the correlation to predict deposition in special cases such as in children. Journal of Aerosol Science. Becquemin. Whether or not the present correlation for total respiratory tract deposition enables prediction for individuals based on their functional residual capacity remains an intriguing subject for future work. 8. .H. Journal of Aerosol Medicine. H. That said. Rudolf et al. H. (1988). Grgic et al. M. total deposition fractions (during controlled breathing) and functional residual capacities should be measured and reported for individual subjects. 1990.. P. Total respiratory tract deposition vs.. Journal of Aerosol Science. (1990) predict the average deposition that would be expected for a large group of subjects. A. D. A.m-diameter aerosol in the human lung. M. Roy. While such an approach is clearly no replacement for more complex regional deposition models that further compartmentalize lung deposition into. and in certain applications assist in tailoring aerosol drug delivery to individual patients. Grgic..252 A. P. In: Second International Symposium on Deposition and Clearance of Aerosol in the Human Respiratory Tract. Yu. pp. G. For extrathoracic deposition. 524–528. and in carrier gases other than air.5.

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