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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 1995 Sep;42(9):860-6.

A computer-controlled research ventilator for small animals: design and evaluation.

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Meakins-Christie Laboratories, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


The understanding of the mechanical properties of the mammalian respiratory system and how they change under the influence of drugs and in disease are frequently pursued in small animals, since they can be easily obtained in large numbers as pure-bred strains. However, conventional experimental set-ups for studying small animals are generally limited in their ability to measure gas flow into the lungs. In this paper, we present a computer-controlled research ventilator for small animals which can provide conventional mechanical ventilation as well as arbitrary flow perturbations with a bandwidth from 0-55 Hz. Respiratory impedance is estimated from the displacement of the piston and the pressure it generates, thereby obviating the need for a direct flow measurement. The performance of the device was tested on mechanical loads whose impedances were calculated theoretically. The measured and predicted loads agreed within less than 5% up to 30 Hz. Furthermore, the measured impedance of two mechanical loads in series precisely matched the sum of their individual impedances.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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