An Investigation into the Human Upper Airways Humidification

Grau Bartual, Sandra
Al-Jumaily, Ahmed
Ramos, Maximiano
Chen, Jack
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Doctor of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

This research focuses on the analysis of the human upper airway humidification looking on one hand at the natural humidification or air conditioning process and on the other hand at the external humidification. Lung supportive devices are widely used to restore the breathing cycle and provide proper ventilation to patients. These devices introduce compressed room air into the respiratory system and generate a positive pressure inside the respiratory system and a turbulent effect to keep the airways open which distorts the natural lubrication and humidification. Hence, lung supportive devices incorporate a convective heated humidifier which provides external humidification to the patients to alleviate the upper airway dryness produced by the compressed airflow. However, the humidifier makes the devices bulky and patients are still reporting side effects after the therapy. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to investigate the effect of the positive airway pressure on the human upper airway epithelium, extrapolate the results to the entire human upper airways and develop a miniaturized, eco-friendly and affordable selfhumidifying device able to overcome the dryness side effect and replace the actual convective heated humidifier.

Air conditioning , CPAP , Calu-3 cells , RPMI 2650 , Pressure oscillations , PNIPAM , Self-humidification
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