Asthma, emphysema, COVID-19 and other diseases lead to changes in conducting pulmonary volume, viscoelasticity, and air flow distribution. To study these effects, Prof. Mona Eskandari at UC Riverside partnered with CellScale to design and build custom equipment.
Measuring Lung Volume During Inflation/Deflation
A moving piston was used to move a closed volume of air into and out of the lungs. As the pressure distribution within the lung is not necessarily uniform, it was not sufficient to measure the volume of air that flowed into the lungs. Instead, the lungs were placed in a sealed container. The displaced volume needed maintain atmospheric pressure in the chamber was therefore equal to the change in lung volume.
A System for Mice and a System for Pigs
The second challenge was to develop 2 separate systems that could run at much different scales. Pig lungs inflate by several liters while mouse lungs only inflate by several milliliters. The design of the pig lung system proved to be the most challenging due to the high flow rates involved.