Breaking News
December 19, 2018 - World-first coeliac disease vaccine enters Phase 2 trials
December 19, 2018 - RNA sequencing offers novel insights into the microbiome
December 19, 2018 - A promising, effective vaccine for common respiratory disease
December 19, 2018 - Protein may slow progression of emphysema, study finds
December 19, 2018 - Studying atrial fibrillation — and exploring new frontiers in precision health
December 19, 2018 - A New Way To Get College Students Through A Psychiatric Crisis — And Back To School
December 19, 2018 - Optum, UnitedHealthcare take action to help people affected by North Carolina winter storms
December 18, 2018 - Weight change in middle-aged, elderly Chinese Singaporeans related to increased risk of death
December 18, 2018 - Immune cells sacrifice themselves to protect us from invading bacteria
December 18, 2018 - Watching brain cells fire, with a twist of gravitational waves
December 18, 2018 - 2018 in Review
December 18, 2018 - Getting the Most Out of the CLARITY Technique
December 18, 2018 - NVF shoes provide a viable option for track and road racing
December 18, 2018 - CRISPR may restore effectiveness of chemotherapies used to treat lung cancer
December 18, 2018 - New app accurately measures and charts progression of skin wounds
December 18, 2018 - Persistent Discrimination ID’d Among Physician Mothers
December 18, 2018 - Cellphone technology developed to detect HIV
December 18, 2018 - A Stanford doctor hits the field with the 49ers — as their airway management physician
December 18, 2018 - The Rise of Anxiety Baking
December 18, 2018 - Just one night of sleep deprivation increases the urge to eat
December 18, 2018 - Study reveals mechanism behind failed remyelination in MS
December 18, 2018 - New genetic testing method increases the precision of biomarker analysis
December 18, 2018 - Simple technique to effectively treat underdiagnosed cause of debilitating chest pain
December 18, 2018 - Barbershop-based medical intervention can successfully lower blood pressure, new data shows
December 18, 2018 - Food labels have caused changes in consumers’ intake and industry’s use of key additives
December 18, 2018 - Sickest children could benefit from split liver transplants
December 18, 2018 - Scientists create patient-specific model to identify most effective treatment for appendix cancer
December 18, 2018 - ‘Little Foot’ endocast reveals a small brain combining ape-like and human-like features
December 18, 2018 - New therapy for childhood blindness shows ‘very promising’ results
December 18, 2018 - Researchers discover promising new compound against Buruli ulcer
December 18, 2018 - Study finds significant use of traditional, complementary and alternative medicines in Sub-Saharan Africa
December 18, 2018 - California Farm Implicated in Outbreak of E. coli Tied to Romaine Lettuce
December 18, 2018 - Mobile health has power to transform HIV/AIDS nursing
December 18, 2018 - Celiac Vaccine in Clinical Trials at Columbia
December 18, 2018 - Research into mental health first aid prompts practical guidance and resources for workplace
December 18, 2018 - Researcher conducts study to investigate peripheral blood markers of Alzheimer’s disease
December 18, 2018 - Researchers identify link between mucus in the small airways and pulmonary fibrosis
December 18, 2018 - EU Commission’s Health Policy Platform to host EKHA program on transplantation
December 18, 2018 - Survivors of childhood Hodgkin lymphoma have high risk of developing solid tumors
December 18, 2018 - Small changes to cafeteria design can get kids to eat healthier, new assessment tool finds
December 18, 2018 - From Machines to Cyclic Compounds
December 18, 2018 - New study reveals best assessment tools to establish delirium severity
December 18, 2018 - Rice University scientists develop synthetic protein switches to control electron flow
December 18, 2018 - Home-based pulmonary function monitoring for teens with Duchenne muscular dystrophy
December 18, 2018 - Researchers identify potential target for new breast cancer treatments
December 18, 2018 - National Biofilms Innovation Centre award grant to Neem Biotech for novel anti-biofilm drug development
December 18, 2018 - Artificial intelligence and the future of medicine
December 18, 2018 - Montana State doctoral student receives grant for her work to improve neuroscience tool
December 18, 2018 - Early postpartum initiation of opioids associated with persistent use
December 18, 2018 - Russian scientists identify molecular ‘switch’ that could be target for treatment of allergic asthma
December 18, 2018 - Surgeons make more mistakes in the operating room during stressful moments, shows study
December 18, 2018 - Immune cells explode themselves to inform about the danger of invading bacteria
December 18, 2018 - Malnutrition in children with Crohn’s disease linked with increased risk of surgical complications
December 18, 2018 - FDA Approves Motegrity (prucalopride) for Adults with Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC)
December 18, 2018 - The long and short of CDK12
December 18, 2018 - Hologic’s Cynosure division introduces TempSure Surgical RF technology in North America
December 18, 2018 - CMR Surgical partners with Nicholson Center to launch U.S.-based training program for Versius
December 18, 2018 - Findings reinforce guidelines for cautious use of antipsychotics in younger populations
December 18, 2018 - Study finds new strains of hepatitis C virus in sub-Saharan Africa
December 18, 2018 - New battery-free, implantable device aids weight loss
December 18, 2018 - Parental alcohol use disorder associated with offspring marital outcomes
December 18, 2018 - Novel Breast Imaging Technique Might Cut Unnecessary Biopsies
December 18, 2018 - What can a snowflake teach us about how cancer spreads in the body?
December 18, 2018 - Management of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy costs the NHS more than previously thought
December 18, 2018 - Green leafy vegetables may reduce risk of developing liver steatosis
December 18, 2018 - Veganism linked to nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition if not planned correctly
December 18, 2018 - Coming Soon: A Tiny Robot You Swallow to Help You Stay Healthy
December 18, 2018 - Modified malaria drug proven effective at inhibiting Ebola
December 18, 2018 - Study finds epigenetic differences in the brains of individuals with schizophrenia
December 18, 2018 - Fitness instructors’ motivational comments influence women’s body satisfaction
December 18, 2018 - Study focuses on modification of lipid nanoparticles for successful brain cell targeting
December 18, 2018 - New gut bacteria may be effective against obesity, metabolic and mental disorders
December 18, 2018 - New two-in-one powder aerosol to upgrade fight against deadly superbugs in lungs
December 18, 2018 - Biofilms feed with swirling flows
December 17, 2018 - Study identifies specific neurological changes related to traumatic brain injury
December 17, 2018 - New study confirms geographic bias in lung allocation for transplant
December 17, 2018 - Research focuses on optimization of solid lipid nanoparticle that encapsulates Vinorelbine bitartrate
December 17, 2018 - Carpal tunnel syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
December 17, 2018 - A novel insulin accelerant
December 17, 2018 - Tips for caring for patients with disabilities, from a mother and physician
Innovative inhalation system to treat premature babies with lung diseases

Innovative inhalation system to treat premature babies with lung diseases

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Premature babies who are born before their lungs have finished maturing often suffer from a lack of surfactant – a substance necessary for lung development. They are also particularly susceptible to illnesses of the respiratory organ, which have to be treated by means of inhalation. However, the inhalation systems available are not geared to the needs of preterm infants and newborns. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM are working with partners to develop a system that would allow drugs to be administered as aerosols in an efficient and breath-triggered manner. This would shorten therapy duration, thereby easing the strain on little bodies.

Worldwide, around 15 million babies are born prematurely every year – and the trend is growing. Industrialized countries are no exception to this development. According to World Health Organization (WHO) figures, the rate in Germany is 9.2 per 100 newborns. One of the most common complications in premature babies is bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a chronic lung disease caused by the artificial ventilation that the infants often need. Also, because the preterm infants’ immune systems are not fully developed, they have an increased risk of infection. Lung infections are best treated with inhaled drugs. However, there are no inhalation systems that are specially adapted to the needs of premature babies and other newborns, as developing the corresponding technologies is very complicated due to the specific breathing characteristics of the tiny patients. Preterm infants typically have a high respiratory rate of 40 to over 60 breaths per minute and short inhalation periods of 0.25 to 0.4 seconds. On top of this, neonatal lungs have only a small tidal volume, posing extra difficulties for inhalation treatment. For this reason, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM in Hannover are working together with partners from industry and research to develop a new inhalation system allowing premature babies to receive an efficient inhalation therapy that is gentle on their lungs.

“Administering drugs to premature babies by means of inhalation is difficult. The current method of continuously delivering aerosols – that is, drugs in the form of particles – into the airflow is inefficient. For one thing, a large portion of the expensive drug gets lost on account of the inhalation/exhalation ratio and thus provides no medical benefit. Moreover, the aerosol is immediately diluted by the airflow traveling through the respirator,” says Dr. Gerhard Pohlmann, head of the Fraunhofer ITEM Division of Translational Biomedical Engineering. The project partners are developing a new breath-triggered method whereby the aerosol is administered directly to the nose only when the premature baby inhales. “For the first time, this opens the door to the highly efficient administration of drugs to preterm infants. This means that the amount of active ingredients can be reduced and therapy durations can be shortened. In addition, precise time control with very short inhalation boli permits the focused treatment of specific lung regions,” says Pohlmann. A similar system would also be fundamentally suitable for adult patients who require daily inhalation therapy. Shortening the administration time can substantially improve their quality of life.

Sensor film for monitoring the respiration of premature babies

The innovative inhalation system combines two technologies: A nasal prong with a miniature aerosol valve that is directly applied to the nose of the preterm infant. With a response time of just a few milliseconds, the aerosol valve allows the active ingredient to be released in a rapid, targeted manner. Opening of the valve is controlled by a sensor film. Laid on the abdominal wall of the premature baby, this flexible matrix uses sensors to detect the movement of the upper abdomen, thereby measuring the exact moment the baby breathes in. For the precise release of the aerosol, the measurement signal controls the micro valve via an intelligent algorithm. “The timing of the inhalation must be caught with an accuracy of about 20 milliseconds. Placing normal sensors in the exhalation region of a respirator does not permit this level of precision,” explains the researcher. The breath-triggered inhalation systems currently available are either reliant on measuring the breath signal in the breathing hose or else coupled to the ventilation system via an electrical connection. “Our ventilator-independent respiration recording system removes the need to interfere with an already approved device and thus reduces approval obstacles.”

Both the sensor film with ultra-thin ICs and the breath-triggered technology are being developed by a consortium in the FLEXMAX project (see box). The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the project, which addresses key aspects of the New Electronic Systems for Intelligent Medical Engineering (Smart Health) tender.

In tests with adults and in trials using devices that simulate the breathing of premature babies, there was an increase in efficiency of 60 percent compared to conventional inhalation technology. To be able to test the sensor film at an early stage in realistic conditions, the project partners are also developing an artificial abdominal wall that moves like that of a premature baby.

The complete inhalation system is currently available as a demonstrator, and it will take about three to five years before it is production-ready, says Pohlmann.

Breath-triggered administration of dry-powder drugs

The team of experts at Fraunhofer ITEM are also carrying out research into application systems for the administration of dry-powder formulas by means of inhalation, which could be used, for example, to treat premature babies with infant respiratory distress syndrome. This syndrome arises when the not fully developed lung either does not produce enough surfactant or does not produce any at all. Without surfactant, which reduces surface tension in the pulmonary alveoli, the lung is unable to expand. The baby suffers from oxygen deprivation and breathing distress and needs artificial respiration. Usually, surfactant obtained from animal lungs is flushed into the lung in the form of a suspension. The problem is that this so-called instillation is traumatic and the surfactant administered in a suspension does not spread as evenly through the lungs as aerosols do. In contrast, if the surfactant is administered as a moistened dry aerosol to be inhaled, it is distributed more homogeneously and works more effectively.

Source:

https://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2018/december/gentle-treatment-for-premature-babies-with-lung-diseases.html

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles