An Experimental Investigation Into Heatless Self-Humidifying Breathing System
Many developments have been conducted on heat and moisture exchange devices to recover heat and moisture from expired air to condition the inspired air for lung supportive devices. Available methods typically require an external heat source to achieve the objectives. However, most available HME devices have limited capabilities, such as delivering insufficient heat and moisture to the patient, causing breathing restriction and increasing dead space levels in the system.
The Institute of Biomedical Technologies (IBTec) at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) has developed a novel moisture exchanger material for a self-humidification feature. However, this material requires a micro-electrical heat generator as a heat source to achieve its objectives. The device absorbs water vapor from human exhalation when the surrounding temperature is lower than its thermal threshold and releases the vapor when temperature increases by the micro-electrical heat generator above that edge.
This research aims to investigate further the possibilities of optimizing this respiratory supporting system to become a heatless system and eliminate the need for the micro-electrical heat generator by integrating a suitable self-heating element utilizing an exothermic chemical reaction to absorb heat during the exhalation process and delivers the heat in the inhalation process. Such development is expected to reduce device expense, power usage, and size of the breathing system, become user-friendly, and increase efficiency safely and securely. This research will investigate different approaches to develop and optimize a new system with self-humidification and heatless features.