M.S. Thesis Presentation by Laurent Nicolas Alteirac
Friday, July 6, 2001

(Dr. Peter Rogers, advisor)

"Clinical Trial of Hydro-Acoustic Therapy and Conception of a Second-Generation Hydro-Acoustic Chamber"


Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the most common and lethal genetic disease. The disease’s effects are felt most significantly in the lungs where mucus viscosity and over-production lead to severe and frequent infections.  Preliminary research has indicated that vibrating the lungs at and near their resonance frequency using underwater sound can aid in mucus clearance in CF ptients.

A first-generation prototype for “Hydro-Acoustic Therapy” (HAT) has been developed based on this principle.  To ascertain the advantages of the HAT over conventional treatments, a human trial has been performed.  The preliminary results of this study were encouraging, and therefore, a second-generation HAT chamber has been developed.  The goal of the second-generation chamber is to be smaller, lighter, and less expensive in order to be better suited for home use.

This Master’s thesis summarizes the data from ten CF patients involved in a clinical study.  Statistical analysis of this data, such as t-test and anova, show a statistical significant difference between HAT sessions and the conventional VestTM sessions in favor of the HAT.  In addition, the mass of mucus cleared from the lungs is found to be more than 50% larger during HAT sessions than during conventional VestTM sessions.  This thesis also summarizes the conception and testing of the new chamber. A smaller cylindrical tank with flexible plastic walls and underwater transducers are the equipment modifications that meet the objectives of the second-generation chamber.