Understanding the causes of nasal obstruction

The mission of the Nasal Physiology and Therapeutic Center is to study the interplay between nasal airflow, nasal obstruction, loss of smell and nasal sinus disease. Since the main physiological function of the nose is the passage of airflow, conditioning that airflow and sensing the odor within the flow (smell), it is important to understand one major question – how does the nose recognize and meet these functions? By exploring the answer to this question, our aim is to better understand what causes nasal obstruction, leading to a better understanding of the nature of nasal sinus disease and ultimately optimizing treatments or surgical options for nasal sinus disease.

Click here to learn more about the Nasal Physiology and Therapeutic Center. 

Current Research Projects

We are recruiting participants for our current research project. To participate, you must be between ages 18 and 40.

Are you interested in a research study about nasal congestion and smell loss?

  • Noninvasive research study evaluating complaints of chronic nasal obstruction and the complaints of smell loss
  • If you are a healthy individual, click here
  • If you are experiencing chronic nasal obstruction with or without smell loss, click here
  • If you are interested in participating in the study, but do not live in the Columbus, Ohio area, please call 614-366-1794 or email: Bhakthi.Deshpande@osumc.edu or Kai.Zhao@osumc.edu for additional study opportunity

Can you ever get your sense of smell back?

  • We are currently enrolling for a noninvasive research study to evaluate the efficacy of olfactory training
  • If you are a healthy individual, click here
  • If you have complaints of smell loss, click here

Grants and Funding

Title: “Objective evaluation of conductive olfactory losses & nasal obstruction symptoms,”
Agency: NIH-NIDCD, R01 DC013626
PI: Kai Zhao
Funding Period: 12/01/2014 - 11/31/2018


Bradley A. Otto, MD

Soldatova L, Campbell RG, Elkhatib AH, Schmidt TW, Pinto NR, Pinto JM, Prevedello DM, Ditzel Filho LF, Otto BA, Carrau RL. Role of Leukocyte-Platelet-Rich Fibrin in Endoscopic Endonasal Skull Base Surgery Defect Reconstruction. J Neurol Surg B Skull Base. 2017 Feb;78(1):59-62.

Villelli NW, Prevedello DM, Ikeda DS, Montaser AS, Otto BA, Carrau RL. Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome Causing Vision Loss After Endoscopic Endonasal Resection of Pituitary Adenoma. World Neurosurg. 2017 Apr;100:708.e1-708

Li C, Farag AA, Leach J, Deshpande B, Jacobowitz A, Kim K, Otto BA, Zhao K. Computational fluid dynamics and trigeminal sensory examinations of empty nose syndrome patients. Laryngoscope. 2017 Jun;127(6):E176-E18

Upadhyay S, Buohliqah L, Dolci RL, Otto BA, Prevedello DM, Carrau RL. Periodic olfactory assessment in patients undergoing skull base surgery with preservation of the olfactory strip. Laryngoscope. 2017 Mar 27.

Otto BA, Li C, Farag AA, Bush B, Krebs JP, Hutcheson RD, Kim K, Deshpande B,Zhao K. Computational fluid dynamics evaluation of posterior septectomy as a viable treatment option for large septal perforations. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2017 May 23

Mesquita PM, Prevedello DM, Prevedello L, Ditzel Filho LF, Fiore ME, Dolci RL, Buohliqah L, Otto BA, Carrau R. Optic Canal Decompression: A Comparison Of Two Surgical Techniques. World Neurosurg. 2017 May 17. pii: S1878-8750(17)30681-2.


Kai Zhao, PhD

Li C., Farag A.A., Maza G., McGheel S., Ciccone M.A., Deshpande B., Pribitkin E.A., Otto B.A., Zhao K. (2017) Investigation of the abnormal nasal aerodynamics and trigeminal functions among empty nose syndrome patients, International Forum of Allergy Rhinol doi: 10.1002/alr.22045.

Lee TS., Goyal P., Li C., Zhao K., (2017) Inferior turbinate reduction: on which portion should surgery focus? A CFD study, JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery (in press)

Li C., Jiang J., Dong H. and Zhao K. (2017) Computational modeling and validation of human nasal airflow under various breathing conditions, Journal of Biomechanics Nov 7;64:59-68. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2017.08.031

Shen J., Hur K., Li C., Zhao K., Leopold D.A., Wrobel B.B. (2017) Determinants and Evaluation of Nasal Airflow Perception, Facial Plast Surg. Aug;33(4):372-377

Otto B.A., Li C., Farag A.A, Bush B., Krebs J., Hutcheson R., Kim K, and Zhao K. (2017) Computational fluid dynamics evidence of posterior septectomy as viable treatment option for large septal perforation, International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology, Jul;7(7):718-725.

Craig J., Palmer J. and Zhao K. (2017) Computational fluid dynamic modeling of nose-to-ceiling head positioning for sphenoid sinus irrigation, International Forum of Allergy Rhinol, May;7(5):474-479. doi: 10.1002/alr.21908 PMCID: PMC5426973

Li C., Farag A.A., Leach J., Deshpande B., Jacobowitz A., Kim K., Otto B.A., Zhao K. (2017) Computational fluid dynamics and trigeminal sensory examinations of empty nose syndrome patients, Laryngoscope, Mar 9. doi: 10.1002/lary.26530

in EA. (2014) Regional Peak Mucosal Cooling Predicts the Perception of Nasal Patency, Laryngoscope, 124(3):589-95 (Cited: 11)

Our Nasal Physiology and Therapeutic Research Team

Nasal group pic