3D-printed mouthpiece adapter for sampling exhaled breath in medical applications
The growing use of 3D printing in the biomedical sciences demonstrates its utility for a wide range of research and healthcare applications, including its potential implementation in the discipline of breath analysis to overcome current limitations and substantial costs of commercial breath sampling interfaces. This technical note reports on the design and construction of a 3D-printed mouthpiece adapter for sampling exhaled breath using the commercial respiration collector for in-vitro analysis (ReCIVA) device. The paper presents the design and digital workflow transition of the adapter and its fabrication from three commercial resins (Surgical Guide, Tough v5, and BioMed Clear) using a Formlabs Form 3B stereolithography (SLA) printer. The use of the mouthpiece adapter in conjunction with a pulmonary function filter is appraised in comparison to the conventional commercial silicon facemask sampling interface. Besides its lower cost - investment cost of the printing equipment notwithstanding - the 3D-printed adapter has several benefits, including ensuring breath sampling via the mouth, reducing the likelihood of direct contact of the patient with the breath sampling tubes, and being autoclaveable to enable the repeated use of a single adapter, thereby reducing waste and associated environmental burden compared to current one-way disposable facemasks. The novel adapter for breath sampling presented in this technical note represents an additional field of application for 3D printing that further demonstrates its widespread applicability in biomedicine.