LANL shifting gears to fight COVID-19

New Mexico News

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (KRQE) – Los Alamos National Laboratory is turning from national defense to helping fight COVID-19. LANL researchers are looking at ways to help clear mucus from blocking airways in the lungs, which can be common in COVID-19 patients.

Using different modeling, they are learning how a method called “intrapulmonary percussive ventilation” – which drops aerosols in the lung – could help do this. The goal is to help COVID-19 patients on ventilators. “So that’s what we’re trying to do, give it the one-two punch. Use a ventilator to help bring in air and use IPV with its aerosols that it generates to pulse and to break up the mucus that’s plugging the way for the airflow,” said John Bernardin, Engineer at the labs.

Partnering with Idaho and Sandia National Labs, the researchers started the work in May and are preparing a report of their findings to share with the federal government. The project was made possible by CARES Act funding.

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