Of all the essential elements needed to support life, oxygen is the most vital. It is the primary function of the respiratory system to provide a constant supply of it to the body. The act of breathing air in and out of the lungs is basically a mechanical process, relying on changes in pressure and volume. The mechanical properties of the structural elements involved will invariably influence the efficiency of the breathing process or the comfort associated with it.
As a material, the lung tissue possesses complex characteristics which can be quantitatively assessed. The techniques used to describe the mechanical function of the lungs in terms of relevant parameters employ notions of physiology and principles of physics which are combined into mathematical equations or models.
Mathematical models to describe the lungs are continuously evolving as knowledge advances. During their development, predicted outcomes are matched to relevant experimental data for model optimization and validation. Experimental data generated with the flexiVent are used to extend, develop or validate mathematical models used to interpret fundamental respiratory mechanics measurements or predict the lungs’ mechanical function.
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