RespirAq technology delivers the performance of a heated humidifier at the size, reliability and simplicity of an HME (heat and moisture exchanger).

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What is RespirAq?

RespirAq technology is the first fundamentally new medical airway humidification technology in decades.

Patients on artificial ventilation need the air they breathe to be artificially humidified to prevent airway damage. The RespirAq active humidifier is a heated humidifier complete with an integrated filter that humidifies without the need for additional water. Within 100 milliseconds, the humidifier can switch between a super-hydrophilic state to capture moisture during expiration, and a super-hydrophobic state which returns the moisture during inspiration. The device has been designed to deliver 37°C fully humidified (95% relative humidity) respiratory gases for invasively mechanically ventilated patients.

Design simplicity

The RespirAq active humidifier removes the need for bulky additional water supply, tubing and peripherals making it a remarkably elegant and compact solution for ventilated humidification.

Design illustration
Engineering illustration

Technical Excellence

As a high-performance humidification device, the RespirAq active humidifier achieves 35-40 mgH2O/L. The RespirAq has a minimal 14 ml of internal dead volume ensuring unimpeded CO2 clearance rates. With a pressure drop of 0.2 cmH2O at 30 lpm, 0.5 cmH2O at 60 lpm and 1 cmH2O at 90 lpm, The RespirAq active humidifier has a negligible effort to patient work of breathing. The RespirAq is a light weight 30g reducing the risk of pressure injury.

Flexibility that supports patients and staff

Adjustable setting allow for personalised and fine tuned Temperature and Humidity delivery. Innovation technology has resulted in a no ‘rainout’ humidifier with no condensation observed in real world testing.

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Patented smart fabric At the heart of the RespirAq technology is a patented smart fabric that changes state from hydrophilic capturing moisture on the out-breath to hydrophobic to release moisture on the patient's in-breath.

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About us

RespirAq is the result more than 10 years of research into improving respiratory humidification.

The smart fabric at the core of the RespirAq active humidifier is the invention of Dr Sandra Grau Bartual a trained chemical engineer originally from Spain who completed her PhD that resulted in development of the smart fabric at AUT in 2019, in collaboration with her supervisor Professor Prof. Ahmed Al-Jumaily. Dr Grau Bartual has built the RespirAq team in collaboration with industry experts to include clinical, ISO 13485 Quality systems, human centred design, and manufacturing expertise.

The RespirAq team is based in Auckland, New Zealand. We welcome opportunities to contribute to research, innovation and are committed to building a vibrant start-up culture both in New Zealand and internationally. If you are interested in learning more about what we do or would like to be involved in this exciting venture please email us using any of the links below. We look forward to talking with you!


The RespirAq team has recently completed an in-hospital feasibility study in collaboration with Waikato Hospital and will be publishing the results of the trial soon.

Developed in partnership with

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