JERUSALEM, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Israeli researchers have developed a new technology to protect the respiratory system of premature babies, the northern Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) reported Thursday.
Many premature babies' body systems, including the respiratory system, have not yet developed completely until birth.
Therefore, preterm birth is often characterized by respiratory distress, and it is necessary to provide breathing support using a medical ventilator that sends air to the babies' trachea through an orally inserted tube.
However, one of the possible side effects of this artificial respiration is lung tissue damage.
In ventilation, each baby needs different customized data, such as the percentage of oxygen in the infused air, the volume of air, flow pressure, flow pace, and more.
In the new research, published in Interface Journal of The Royal Society, the Technion researchers have developed a silicon-made model that adjusts the ventilation treatment according to the flow congestion in the baby's respiratory system.
This data matching made by the model, that simulates the upper respiratory tract, may prevent damage and improve the chances for the babies to develop a proper respiratory system.
Using the model, the researchers also discovered an unknown phenomenon whereby a jet flow coming out of the inserted tube into the baby's mouth damages the cell layer that overlies the upper respiratory tract (epithelial tissue) because of strong frictional forces.
The researchers said these forces could cause damage, including inflammation, which poses a risk to the baby.