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Recently in Research: Andrew Lenzie


Andrew Lenzie

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Andrew Lenzie, a senior majoring in Chemical Engineering, is working to figure out if the newly discovered collapse of the central airway, Expiratory Central Airway Collapse, in patients with COPD adds resistance to airflow in the airways. Lenzie is working alongside his mentor, Dr. Vrishank Raghav an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. They will share their findings with their collaborators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Medical School for further study.

Lenzie’s approach has been to design and build a benchtop lung simulator, such that the collapse of the central airway can be mimicked in a model outside of the body.  He is currently installing the pressure and flow probes which will measure the changes in pressure and flowrate across the flexible tubing that represents the central airway. Instead of air, water is used in the simulated airway for ease of pumping and measurement. The pumping of water through the system is controlled by software to mimic the force and rate of an average diaphragm.

Lenzie said his undergraduate research experience has helped him succeed at other endeavors like applying for medical school and suggests others give undergraduate research a try.

“The most rewarding thing is knowing that the design and construction of this device followed by experimentation could help so many people with this disease,” Lenzie said.

Last modified: March 22, 2018