Design Innovation Paper

Patient Powered Device for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

[+] Author and Article Information
Katya B. Christenson, Joseph W. Jacquemin, Steve M. Fannon, Davina A. Widjaja

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Kathleen H. Sienko

Associate Professor of Mechanical and
Biomedical Engineering,
University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Ronald D. Chervin

Michael S. Aldrich Collegiate Professor
of Sleep Medicine,
Professor of Neurology,
Director, Sleep Disorders Center,
University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Manuscript received July 22, 2010; final manuscript received December 13, 2013; published online January 24, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Just L. Herder.

J. Med. Devices 8(1), 015003 (Jan 24, 2014) (6 pages) Paper No: MED-10-1067; doi: 10.1115/1.4026288 History: Received July 22, 2010; Revised December 13, 2013

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder in which the throat repeatedly closes during sleep, interrupts breathing and then sleep, and can contribute to morbidity such as daytime sleepiness, cardiovascular consequences, and premature death. Standard treatment with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine delivers positive pressure through a mask to splint the airway open. However, CPAP is expensive, noisy, and requires electricity, all of which can limit access and nightly adherence. A concept for a mechanical CPAP device designed to be powered by the natural work of breathing rather than an external electrical source is presented in this Design Innovation paper.

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Fig. 1

Schematic illustrating the passage of air in an open airway (left panel) versus a closed airway (right panel)

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Fig. 2

Illustrative data from a clinical polysomnogram (120 s) shows two obstructive apneas that occurred during stage 2 sleep. During each event, airflow ceases for more than the required 10 s, chest and abdominal movements show persistent effort to breathe, and oxygen desaturations occur with a delay (while blood from the lungs reaches the finger oximetry site) after each apnea.

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Fig. 3

Device operation after exhalation

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Fig. 4

Device operation after inhalation

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Fig. 5

CAD designs of (a) one-way valve (b) inhalation chamber L-shape valve without a hole on the other side as its only function is to let fresh air flow into a patient's breathing passage, and (c) exhalation chamber L-shape valve with a hole on the other side to allow used air out when air chamber is deflated

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Fig. 6

Backflow stopping valve CAD design

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Fig. 7

Chamber/bellows CAD design

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Fig. 11

Pressure required for exhalation showed a linear relationship with mass applied to plate A

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Fig. 12

Pressure provided for inhalation showed a linear relationship with mass applied to plate A



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