Performance Characteristics of a Novel 3D-Printed Bubble Intermittent Mandatory Ventilator (B-IMV) for Adult Pulmonary Support

Jonathan A. Poli*, Christopher Howard*, Alfredo J. Garcia, Don Remboski, Peter B. Littlewood, John P. Kress, Narayanan Kasthuri, Alia Comai, Kiran Soni, Philip Kennedy, John Ogger, Robert M. Diblasi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought attention to the need for developing effective respiratory support that can be rapidly implemented during critical surge capacity scenarios in healthcare settings. Lung support with bubble continuous positive airway pressure (B-CPAP) is a well-established therapeutic approach for supporting neonatal patients. However, the effectiveness of B-CPAP in larger pediatric and adult patients has not been addressed. Using similar principles of B-CPAP pressure generation, application of intermittent positive pressure inflations above CPAP could support gas exchange and high work of breathing levels in larger patients experiencing more severe forms of respiratory failure. This report describes the design and performance characteristics of the BubbleVent, a novel 3D-printed valve system that combined with commonly found tubes, hoses, and connectors can provide intermittent mandatory ventilation (IMV) suitable for adult mechanical ventilation without direct electrification. Testing of the BubbleVent was performed on a passive adult test lung model and compared with a critical care ventilator commonly used in tertiary care centers. The BubbleVent was shown to deliver stable PIP and PEEP levels, as well as timing control of breath delivery that was comparable with a critical care ventilator.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2022


  • additive manufacturing
  • bubble continuous airway pressure
  • ventilator


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