Project: Research project

Project Details


A device providing continuous negative distending pressure will be tested
in preterm neonates suffering from retractions due to respiratory distress
to determine effects on 1) chest wall distortion and 2) improvement in

The neonate's compliant chest allows the chest to collapse during
inspiration, decreasing respiratory efficiency. The proposed devise will
prevent retractions and decrease the work of breathing. The device offers
advantages over current neonatal respiratory care techniques because it
will avert the problems associated with positive pressure ventilation such
as bronchopulmonary dysplasia and intraventricular hemorrhage.

Whole body plethysmography, face mask pneumotachography and inductive
plethysmography will be used to non-invasively and continuously monitor
pulmonary function and chest/abdomen synchrony. Following a period of
baseline measurements, the device will be applied for a duration of two
hours during which time quantitative measurements of pulmonary function,
cardiovascular parameters and thoracoabdominal asynchrony, will be stored
for later analysis.

It is anticipated that the device will provide significant relief to
developing neonates by preventing atelectasis without high mean airway
pressure, increasing gas exchange and reducing work of breathing. This lo-
cost device may aid in reduction of the length of patient stay and help
reduce the cost of hospitalization.

Proposed Commercial Application: There are two potential commercial
applications of this research, (a) a chest brace and device that passively
provides a low-cost, non-invasive means of alleviating respiratory distress
in neonates; (b) a chest brace device that provides active ventilation to
Effective start/end date8/1/967/31/98


  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


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