Theoretical Model to Estimate the Distribution of Radon in Alveolar Membrane Neighborhood
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas which tends to concentrate indoors, easily emanates from the ground into the air, where it disintegrates and emits radioactive particles. It can enter the human body through breathing or ingesting mostly water. When radon inhaled, travels through the respiratory tract to alveoli where the majority is expelled into the environment. Moreover, when ingested in water, it passes into the intestine where it is absorbed and driven from the bloodstream to the lungs; in these organs, due to differences in partial pressures, it is transported to alveoli by simple diffusion process. When radon is not removed, it decays in short-lived solid disintegration products (218Po and 214Po) with high probability of being deposited in biological tissues, causing DNA damage because of the densely ionizing alpha radiation emitted. We propose a semi-empirical, smooth, and continuous pair potential function in order to model the molecular interactions between radon and lung alveolar walls; we use Molecular Dynamics (MD) to determine the gas distribution in an alveolar neighborhood wall, and estimate the quantity thereof it diffuses through the alveolar membrane as a concentration function.
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