We are running as fast as we can to catch up with that clock! I’m sure it seems like forever ago since we published a technical update, but it seems just like yesterday to us. They say “time flies when you are having fun”, but also, it seems, when you are developing a revolutionary breakthrough technology.

 Micro-blower prototype (for scale)

Micro-blower prototype (for scale)

Recently we reported that we secured additional funding from a new and significant company that would allow us to hire additional engineers and bring some powerful equipment into our lab. We are excited to tell you that we will have two engineers joining us soon and that we have our first piece of equipment in place and it is already helping us with our debugging!

In our last technical update, we shared our concerns about the surface roughness of our materials. After a number of experiments, we have switched over to a new material which we feel is less rough and should perform better. We also reported that residual stresses in our film could be affecting the valve movement. We are still exploring this issue, but it seems that the inherent stress in the film may not be a problem.

With our new 3D laser scanning microscope, we are now able to take very accurate measurements of surface roughness. It also can give us a precise understanding of our micro machining quality; for example, how flat the valves are.


 3D Height map of micro-blower valve a part of airflow pathway shown at greater than 1000 X

3D Height map of micro-blower valve a part of airflow pathway shown at greater than 1000 X

This is a very valuable tool for us to have right now, because there are a couple of fabrication processes we are investigating that could prevent proper valve operation. One process might be warping the valves which could cause them to stick and another might be causing the valves to get pinched at a certain point in their travel.

We have also made an improvement in our test fixturing. This new approach holds the device under test more like it will be used once it is off the bench and in a product.

It is certainly clear by now that the development of the micro-blower technology is and has been a difficult and complicated undertaking. I want to reassure everyone that we are totally committed to solving the issues and making the Airing Micro-CPAP device a reality. I am excited to be adding additional engineers and equipment and expect that we will see faster progress as a result of these resources. Please believe me when I tell you I am ever aware of the fact that millions of people are suffering daily, perhaps you are one of them, and that I will do everything in my power to get this technology working and into a product that can help them.

-Stephen Marsh