In Vitro Fundamental Dispersion Studies of Allergens and COVID-19 Sized Particles

Red Maple Trials (Ottawa, ON) created a facility for the research of allergy, in which patients can be exposed (challenged) to airborne allergens and symptoms can be monitored in a controlled manner. The primary clientele of Red Maple Trials are pharmaceutical companies testing allergy medications. Two testing rooms (small for 1-3 subjects, and large for up to 10 subjects) are dedicated for cat allergen exposures and a third (the largest room, which is able to accommodate up to 75 subjects) is reserved for dust-mite or pollen exposures.The main objectives of this two-year project are: 1) improve the allergen dispersion system in the larger cat allergen testing room to allow homogeneous spatial distribution, temporal stability (over three hours), and repeatability. 2) Expand and improve aerosolization in the largest testing room to include dust-mite allergen dispersion. 3) Explore the possibility of using the unique facilities to study indoor-spread of COVID-19 using aerodynamically similar surrogate particles. 4) In addition to experimental measurements (particle size, velocity, concentration, and deposition), numerical simulations using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) techniques will be developed and validated. The results will elucidate how characteristics of irregular particles (e.g. shape, adhesion, and roughness) effect their aerosolization and distribution.

Faculty Supervisor:

Edgar Matida;Joana Rocha


Rym Mehri


Red Maple Trials


Engineering - mechanical


Professional, scientific and technical services


Carleton University



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