Biocompatible Polymer for Self-Humidification
Lung supportive devices (LSDs) have been extensively utilized in treating patients diagnosed with various respiratory disorders. However, these devices can cause moisture depletion in the upper airway by interfering with the natural lubrication and air conditioning process. To remedy this, current technologies implement heated humidification processes, which are bulky, costly, and nonfriendly. However, it has been demonstrated that in a breath cycle, the amount of water vapor in the exhaled air is of a similar quantity to the amount needed to humidify the inhaled air. This research proposes to trap the moisture from exhaled air and reuse it during inhalation by developing a state-of-the-art hydrophilic/hydrophobic polymer tuned to deliver this purpose. Using the atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) method, a substrate was successfully created by incorporating poly (N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAM) onto cotton. The fabricated material exhibited a water vapor release rate of 24.2 ± 1.054%/min at 32 °C, indicating its ability to humidify the inhaled air effectively. These findings highlight the potential of the developed material as a promising solution for applications requiring rapid moisture recovery.