Autonomous control of ventilation through closed-loop adaptive respiratory pacing

Ricardo Siu, James J. Abbas, David D. Fuller, Jefferson Gomes, Sylvie Renaud, Ranu Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Mechanical ventilation is the standard treatment when volitional breathing is insufficient, but drawbacks include muscle atrophy, alveolar damage, and reduced mobility. Respiratory pacing is an alternative approach using electrical stimulation-induced diaphragm contraction to ventilate the lung. Oxygenation and acid–base homeostasis are maintained by matching ventilation to metabolic needs; however, current pacing technology requires manual tuning and does not respond to dynamic user-specific metabolic demand, thus requiring re-tuning of stimulation parameters as physiological changes occur. Here, we describe respiratory pacing using a closed-loop adaptive controller that can self-adjust in real-time to meet metabolic needs. The controller uses an adaptive Pattern Generator Pattern Shaper (PG/PS) architecture that autonomously generates a desired ventilatory pattern in response to dynamic changes in arterial CO2 levels and, based on a learning algorithm, modulates stimulation intensity and respiratory cycle duration to evoke this ventilatory pattern. In vivo experiments in rats with respiratory depression and in those with a paralyzed hemidiaphragm confirmed that the controller can adapt and control ventilation to ameliorate hypoventilation and restore normocapnia regardless of the cause of respiratory dysfunction. This novel closed-loop bioelectronic controller advances the state-of-art in respiratory pacing by demonstrating the ability to automatically personalize stimulation patterns and adapt to achieve adequate ventilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21903
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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