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Biomedical Engineering Design Projects

Delivery of Aerosol Drugs Through Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

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Project Overview

In order to treat obstructive sleep apnea, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices have been developed to deliver air under constant positive pressure to the nasal passages during sleep. The goal of this project is to design and fabricate a drug nebulizer to work in line with a CPAP machine to help sleep apnea and asthma patients. It must also function within a hospital ventilator circuit. It must be adjustable to main unit airflow and programmable for different times and durations of administration during an 8-hour sleep cycle. The drugs that the nebulizer must aerosolize will be bronchodilators, such as Albuterol Sulfate.

Please visit our BME 400 page from the Fall 2009 semester for information on previous work for this ongoing design project.

PROJECT TEAM: BME 402, Spring 2010

CPAP Team 2010

From left to right: Anne Loevinger, Steve Welch, Joe Decker, Patrick Kurkiewicz, and Ryan Kimmel

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Project Status

The semester is over, and we received an honorable mention for our design among the BME senior class. Our ultrasonic nebulizer runs with a two-fold increase in efficiency over conventional ultrasonic nebulizers. The program works very well, but adjustments need to be made to consistently predict breathing threshold. Next we will take the necessary steps to submit an invention disclosure, send in a paper to a scientific journal, secure a patent, and finally to obtain approval to conduct clinical trials.


Figure 1. Block Diagram for Nebulizer Operation



Figure 2. Assembled Ultrasonic Nebulizer


front panel

Figure 3. User Interface Program Front Panel

Progress Report Archive.

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Project Timeline

Week Reporting Period Beginning Activities
1 January 22 Determined team roles, discussed issues with old prototype, and researched for new design
2 January 29 Met with client, constructed 2nd generation prototype
3 February 5 Albuterol dosage research, met with pulmonary specialist, 3rd generation prototype design
4 February 12 Construction of 3rd generation prototype, efficiency calculations, toxicology research
5 February 19 Completed construction of prototype, developed timing program
6 February 26 Tested new prototype, added a removable liquid component, constructed table to encourage efficient nebulization and to protect the circuitry, prepared for mid-semester presentation
7 March 5 Mid-semester presentations, proposed alternative airflow chamber designs
8 March 12 Observed nebulization rate, ideas for splash guards, developed a pressure sensor
9 March 19 Constructed possible splash guards, finished program that incorporates the pressure sensor
10 March 26 SPRING BREAK
11 April 2 Tested splash guards, obtained medical adhesives, wrote testing protocols, constructed funneling ramps
12 April 9 Calculated nebulization rate, developed a drug container that sits inside the fluid reservoir, tested drug container
13 April 16 Added Teflon coating, fixed lingering issues, decided on film barrier method, prepared for further testing
14 April 23 Tested albuterol delivery to the mask, made improvements to the programming, worked on deliverables
15 April 30 Constructed nebulizer housing, finished deliverables, final presentations

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Presentations and Reports

pdf icon Mid-Semester Presentation (May 8 2010, 1104 kb)
pdf icon Testing Protocol (May 8 2010, 87 kb)
pdf icon Final Poster (May 8 2010, 510 kb)
pdf icon Journal Report (May 8 2010, 664 kb)
pdf icon Final Report (May 8 2010, 874 kb)

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Contact Information

Project Team

Project Advisor and Client

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Owner: Willis Tompkins, Ph.D.
Author: Ryan Kimmel
Webmaster: Andrew L. Wentland
Created: May 8 2010
Content updated: May 10 2010

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