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Evaluation of High-Frequency Airway Clearance Devices

Mucus can accumulate in the airways of children with severe lung infections and impaired cough. The DiBlasi Lab has partnered with industry sponsors to evaluate several novel devices that generate inhaled aerosols combined with high-frequency (300-400/min) flow pulsations, or “mini coughs,” to expand the airways, facilitate secretion removal and improve lung function. The lab has produced an artificial mucus simulant that is applied to realistic airway and lung models to evaluate the effect of mucus transport at different frequencies and pressure settings. Ongoing work is focused on the effectiveness of mucus removal in physiologic models of mucus impaction.

Simulated airways and lung model attached to mucus clearance device (left) and artificial mucus in a beaker (right).

Simulated airways and lung model attached to mucus clearance device (left) and artificial mucus in a beaker (right).

Macroscopic image showing impacted mucus (blue gel) obstructing the bronchial airways.

Macroscopic image showing impacted mucus (blue gel) obstructing the bronchial airways.

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