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A portable triboelectric spirometer for wireless pulmonary function monitoring.

  • Author(s): Xu, Qinghao;
  • Fang, Yunsheng;
  • Jing, Qingshen;
  • Hu, Ning;
  • Lin, Ke;
  • Pan, Yifan;
  • Xu, Lin;
  • Gao, Haiqi;
  • Yuan, Ming;
  • Chu, Liang;
  • Ma, Yanwen;
  • Xie, Yannan;
  • Chen, Jun;
  • Wang, Lianhui
  • et al.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a severe acute respiratory syndrome infection has spread rapidly across the world since its emergence in 2019 and drastically altered our way of life. Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 may still face persisting respiratory damage from the virus, necessitating long-term supervision after discharge to closely assess pulmonary function during rehabilitation. Therefore, developing portable spirometers for pulmonary function tests is of great significance for convenient home-based monitoring during recovery. Here, we propose a wireless, portable pulmonary function monitor for rehabilitation care after COVID-19. It is composed of a breath-to-electrical (BTE) sensor, a signal processing circuit, and a Bluetooth communication unit. The BTE sensor, with a compact size and light weight of 2.5 cm3 and 1.8 g respectively, is capable of converting respiratory biomechanical motions into considerable electrical signals. The output signal stability is greater than 93% under 35%-81% humidity, which allows for ideal expiration airflow sensing. Through a wireless communication circuit system, the signals can be received by a mobile terminal and processed into important physiological parameters, such as forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC). The FEV1/FVC ratio is then calculated to further evaluate pulmonary function of testers. Through these measurement methods, the acquired pulmonary function parameters are shown to exhibit high accuracy (>97%) in comparison to a commercial spirometer. The practical design of the self-powered flow spirometer presents a low-cost and convenient method for pulmonary function monitoring during rehabilitation from COVID-19.

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