OBJECTIVES: To explore the use of a pyroelectric polymer (PEP) film as a transducer for a simple respiratory rate monitor and to evaluate the transducer in a laboratory situation. METHODS: Laboratory evaluation of a new pyroelectric transducer for measurement of respiratory rate. RESULTS: The amplified output from the pyroelectric film produced an excellent respiratory trace when used on a normal spontaneously breathing subject. The transducer is cheap, robust, and reliable. CONCLUSIONS: PEP films have the potential to be used as cheap and effective transducers in respiratory rate monitors for non-intubated patients. In the laboratory, they have many desirable characteristics which should now be evaluated in a clinical setting.
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