Let's Get This Breath

ArtemisHFNC - Low-Cost Universal High Flow Nasal Cannula


Member profile details

Membership level
2020-2021 Team
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Team Name
Let's Get This Breath
Project Title
ArtemisHFNC - Low-Cost Universal High Flow Nasal Cannula
Design Challenge
High flow nasal cannula (HFNC) devices are used to administer oxygen therapy in neonates and children for a range of respiratory illnesses. Despite their proven clinical benefits, current HFNCs remain inaccessible due to prohibitive costs and their reliance on complex infrastructure, including wall oxygen. The ArtemisHFNC resolves these issues. It effectively administers heated, humidified, high-flow therapy at around 25% of the cost of existing devices. Additionally, its compatibility with versatile oxygen sources means it can transform any hospital room into a high-flow therapy room, combatting the disproportionately high mortality rates due to pediatric respiratory infection in low-income countries.
Design Summary
Team ArtemisHFNC (originally Team Let's Get This Breath) aims to develop an affordable and versatile High Flow Nasal Canula (HFNC) to reduce mortality due to respiratory distress in low- and middle-income countries. Current HFNCs on the market are inaccessibly expensive for low resource settings, and they rely on access to wall air and wall oxygen infrastructure. By creating an affordable option that works with more accessible air and oxygen sources, high flow therapy for respiratory distress will become a more accessible option to treat patients across the world, thereby reducing preventable mortality due to respiratory illness.

The ArtemisHFNC product is composed of two subsystems: Blending and heating/humidifying.

The blending subsystem is a pneumatic path that blends together two sources of air: an oxygen source and a room air source. The pneumatics interfaces with a touchscreen user interface to allow users to set both a desired FiO2 (21% - 95%) and flow rate (0 - 40 LPM) to be delivered to the patient. The pneumatic path for oxygen blending and high flow generation has been assembled and proven to be controllable and accurate across the range of clinically relevant FiO2 and flow values. This system uses proportional solenoid valves, one combined flow-oxygen sensor, and an external air compressor to generate and control flow rate. Although our novel blending control algorithm has been shown to work effectively, future plans include improving the accuracy of said algorithm at lower flow rates (10-15 LPM).

The second subsystem is a heated humidifier to ensure the high flow of oxygenated air delivered to patients are properly conditioned to the desired temperature (31 C - 40 C) and absolute humidity (> 12 mg/L) values. This conditioning supports both infection prevention and patient comfort. The system includes a passive humidifier that is heated by a 300 W PTC heating element. Future plans for this subsystem include testing to validate the use with a range of commonly used patient tubing, specifically with a focus on condensation issues within patient tubing.

The team has created a prototype that meets the following design criteria: Correct range of flow rates, correct range of oxygen concentration, affordable, easy to use, durable, easily maintained, appropriately heated, appropriately humidified, sanitary, safe, and able to be used with standard, non-proprietary tubing.

Having completed testing to validate all aforementioned design criteria, the team is now in the process of applying for a provisional patent and seeking industry partnerships to aid in the scaling up and regulatory approval processes.

Updated: 05/05/2021
Val Thomas Endowment
Sponsor Logo
  • Global Health Technologies
  • Bioengineering
Faculty Advisor 1 - Name
Dr. Sabia Abidi
Faculty Advisor 1 - Department
  • BIOE
Faculty Advisor 2 - Name
Dr. Andi Gobin
Faculty Advisor 2 - Department
  • RICE 360
Client First Name
Dr. Rohith
Client Last Name
Client Company/Organization
Baylor College of Medicine

Team Members

Award(s) and Recognition
2021 Engineering Design Showcase, Best Design for Low Resource Settings
Showcase Slides (PDF format)
1 file

Contact us

Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen
Rice University

6100 Main Street MS 390 | Houston, Texas | 77005

Phone: 713.348.OEDK

Email: oedk@rice.edu

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