Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

David N. Rocheleau


Tracheobronchial malacia results in a weakening of the tracheal walls, leading to increased difficulty breathing. Stents are used to reopen the lumen of the trachea, however, current models are not personalized to each patient, leading to migration, inflammation, and breakage of the stents. In order to successfully test novel stent designs, a ventilation chamber is needed to recreate the breathing conditions of the body.

The following describes the iterative development of a ventilation chamber, which allows inflation and deflation of lungs via negative pressure ventilation, as representative of an actual body undergoing respiration. Previous work shows that lungs are not generally used as the testing medium, as only excised portions of trachea are used. The chamber presented here would allow testing to the primary and secondary bronchi, which is beneficial to medical practitioners. This chamber would be utilized for simulating an in vivo environment, in which, tracheal and bronchial stents may be tested and analyzed. The chamber described is of simple, replicative design, with attachment of a bladder acting as a diaphragm, which is expanded and reduced to recreate representative pressures of the chest cavity. A trachea and lungs, porcine in nature for testing purposes, are attached at the opposite end of the chamber, via a conduit allowing them to remain open to atmosphere, allowing the lungs to inflate via negative pressure.

An appropriately sized chamber was developed, as well as estimation of appropriate applied pressure to achieve ventilation.


© 2015, Caroline N. Horton