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During normal respiration, thousands of bacteria and other airborne irritants are inhaled every hour. Despite this constant intake of pathogens, the body is able to maintain sterility in the airways below the larynx. The task of accomplishing this feat falls to the protect airway surface liquid layer, a two-phase liquid consisting of a viscoelastic mucus layer as well as the periciliary layer through which cilia beat, clearing mucus from the airways. In diseases such as cystic fibrosis, the mucus layer becomes increasing solid-like, leading to a decrease in mucus clearance as well as an increased rate of infection. In order to understand the phenomena of mucociliary clearance, it is necessary to understand the physical properties of the mucus layer as well as the driving forces that propel the fluid: the pressure gradient consistent with normal tidal breathing and the forces imparted on the mucus layer by cilia. It is the goal of my research to characterized and model the airway surface liquid in terms of its physical properties, chemical composition, flow, and response to pathogenic material and disease states.