Breath-by-breath respiratory gas analyser

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A device for rapid measurement of oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapour levels in respired breath is currently under development for use in critical care and anaesthesia.

The analyser also has applications in sport and human performance monitoring.

Marketing opportunity

The patient monitoring market in 2008 was estimated to be $2bn in Europe alone.

Following successful development of the Oxford Invention, it is expected that the technology would be incorporated as a standard component of clinical patient monitoring systems.

The use of respiratory analysis in the sports/exercise and defence markets has yet to be fully exploited and may also present a significant opportunity for early revenues.

The Oxford invention

Monitoring of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production by patients is valuable in a range of clinical and non-clinical settings. Patient monitoring devices are used widely in hospitals, but their respiratory gas analysis capabilities are limited due to the use of ‘sidestream’ analysers, which divert the respired gas away from breathing tubes for remote analysis.

The resulting slow and variable response times make calculation of gas exchange occurring at the lungs very difficult. This is particularly true in the clinical settings of anaesthesia and critical care where the flow rates or inspiratory gas compositions may vary (e.g by addition of oxygen and anaesthetics).

The Oxford Invention is an apparatus for ‘in-line’ analysis that uses laser spectroscopy to measure directly the concentration of oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapour in the breathing tube.

The invention allows the calculation of gas exchange occurring at the lungs when both inspiratory gas compositions and flow rates are varying. It has a response time an order of magnitude faster than most current instruments.

A working laboratory prototype has been developed and the inventors have received an MRC translational award to fund ongoing development of the device for use in clinical settings.

Patent status

The Oxford invention is covered by granted patents in Europe, US and China.

Oxford University Innovation would like to talk to companies interested in developing the commercial opportunity. Request more information if you would like to discuss this further.


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