Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of morbidity in aging populations worldwide. One of the most debilitating effects of COPD is hyperinflation, which restricts the function of healthier portions of the lung, diaphragm, and heart. Bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR) is a minimally invasive technique to reduce hyperinflation, consisting of one-way valves inserted bronchoscopically that slowly drain the diseased lobe of its accumulated air. Presented here is a novel redesign of current BLVR devices using pop-up microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) manufacturing to create microscale check valves. These operate more reliably than current polymer valves and allow tunable airflow to accommodate widely varying patient physiologies. Analysis and ex vivo testing of the redesigned valve predicted the valve should outlast current valves with a lifetime of well over 8 yr and showed airflow controllability within desired physiological ranges of up to 1.2 SLM. The valve resists backflow twice as well as the current standard valves while permitting comparable forward flow.

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