Lung Expansion and Aeration Monitor (LEAM)

Tech ID:

The LEAM system monitors the expansion and aeration of the lung through the measurement of electrical resistance and impedance directly from the surface of the lung via a sensor(s) placed inside the chest. Its purpose is to monitor the inhalation/expiration of the patient and detect the presence of pneumothorax, pleural effusion, or pulmonary edema with high sensitivity. 



The lung is an inherently electrically resistive organ due to the presence of air within the pulmonary alveoli (lung air sacs). Measurement of changes in electrical resistance or impedance of the lung can be used to detect abnormal lung pathology. Invasive thoracic surgeries, trauma of the chest, or other non-surgical/non-traumatic conditions affecting the lungs may result in anatomical and physiological changes to the lungs and the space around the lungs (pleural space), such as the accumulation of air, fluid, blood or pus. These changes can have pathological consequences that can be severely detrimental to the health of the patient. Currently, a chest tube in inserted into the pleural cavity to drain body fluids and/or facilitate re-expansion of the lung. Medical staff perform additional surveillance manually by monitoring the patient’s vital signs and routine chest x-rays during hospitalization. The LEAM improves on the current standard of care by providing real-time, automatic monitoring of the impedance of the lung tissue. The suction being delivered to the patient via the chest drainage tube is automatically adjusted by the LEAM in response to the impedance measurement, providing an instantaneous response to developing pathologies. The invention can also be adapted to detect leaks at the sight of surgical anastomosis (joining of two hollow organs/vessels) or to determine cardiac output after heart surgery.


Commercial Applications & Advantages:

The current invention has high commercial value due to its ability to provide real-time, direct indication of lung status and is superior to the current standard of care as follows:

  • Shorter drainage duration - reduced hospitalization stays and costs
  • Earlier detection - faster interventions leads to better patient outcomes
  • New vital sign - direct characterization of respiration
  • Automatic detection and alerts - frees medical staff for other tasks
  • Adaptable for leak detection at other surgical sites (i.e. anastomosis)


Note:  This invention also includes the following previous technologies and associated IP: US 7,899,508 (Tech ID 2003.007.HSCS), US 9,955,896 (Tech ID 2011.079.HSCS), and PCT US17/25957 (Tech ID HSC-1380).


For information contact:
John Fritz
Sr. Business Development Manager
Daniel Dearmond
Lucas Holt
Andrew Wang
Patent Information:

United States - Provisional

Patent No.

Status: Expired