California Patent of the Month – January 2022

Standard breath measurement technology often provides inaccurate or unreliable measurements during fast-paced breathing. These inaccuracies are due to inadequacies in the sensor which is not fast enough to measure the breath. This limits accuracy of other tests. For instance, in capnometry, infrared sensors measure the CO2 in exhaled breath. The measurement should be in line with the breath in order to measure the peak value of the gas for each breath. If the sensors cannot keep up with breath pace, the measurements in capnometry will be inaccurate. Capnia, Inc. has developed an improved neonatal CO2 measurement system that offers greater accuracy when breathing quickens.

Traditional capnometry systems also face complications where the breath sample has a mixture of both alveolar (desired) and non-alveolar gas (undesired) ,which means the sample is not as pure as needed for an accurate measurement. Capnia’s design addresses both of these problems. Their design stores alveolar air from more than one breath, then sends this multi-breath sample through the sensor. This is achieved by only capturing the last section of a breath. For instance, if the breath rate is 60 breaths per minute (bpm), the alveolar gas is exhaled in the last 250-275 msec of exhalation. The system captures this last section of breath, storing multiple samples of it to be analyzed. This ensures the sample is a deep lung sample and representative of what is in the blood regardless of breath pace. This solution overcomes both impure samples and slow sensors, providing accurate results for neonatal capnometry.

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