An engineering perspective on human digestion

Alexander R. Lamond, Anja E.M. Janssen, Alan Mackie, Gail M. Bornhorst, Serafim Bakalis*, Ourania Gouseti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter reviews the mechanics of human digestion from an engineering viewpoint. First, digestive processes, including mastication, bolus transport and nutrient absorption, are paralleled to unit operations, such as milling, peristaltic pumping and membrane filtration. This allows an engineering analysis of the gut, which includes dimensional analysis and identification of the key parameters and phenomena that determine the rate and extent of food digestion. Then, the use of mathematical models and computational fluid dynamics are discussed for the study of digestive processes, in particular gastric and intestinal flow and mixing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterdisciplinary Approaches to Food Digestion
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783030039011
ISBN (Print)9783030039004
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2019


  • CFD
  • Dimensional analysis
  • Engineering
  • Flow
  • Food digestion
  • Gut
  • Mixing
  • Unit operations

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