Developing new methods for the mechanical ventilation of babies with respiratory distress

Dr Emmanuela Zannin

Assessment of cardio-pulmonary function: application in positive pressure ventilation

Dr Emmanuela Zannin from Politecnico di Milano, Italy, was awarded a 2018 Charter Hall Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar Award, hosted by Professor Jane Pillow, The University of Western Australia.

Charter Hall Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar Award

Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Host: Prof Jane Pillow, The University of Western Australia



Dr Emmanuela Zannin is a postdoctoral fellow at the Biomedical Technologies Lab, Politecnico di Milano, Italy. She was invited as a Charter Hall Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar by Associate Professor Jane Pillow from the School of Human Sciences at The University of Western Australia.

Dr Zannin is a biomedical engineer with specific expertise in novel technologies for the diagnosis and monitoring of respiratory mechanics, mechanical ventilation, and preterm neonatal lung disease. Dr Zannin obtained her Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering in 2010 and 2005, respectively, where her projects aimed at the development of new methods for the optimization of mechanical ventilation in patients with respiratory distress, with a special focus on neonatal applications.

She was a visiting academic at the Murdoch Children Research Institute in Melbourne for 3 months in 2011 and a long-term research fellow at the University Children’s Hospital in Basel, Switzerland, between October 2016 and March 2018. Between 2008 and 2016, she was co-founder and member of the board of directors of Restech s.r.l, a spin-off company of Politecnico di Milano, aiming at developing and commercialising novel biomedical devices for lung function evaluation and home monitoring of chronic respiratory diseases.

The purpose of Dr Zannin’s visit was to develop and submit manuscripts, explore potential new collaborations, and to evaluate the feasibility of new data analyses on existing datasets. During her visit, Dr Zannin presented a Raine Lecture explaining a novel approach for evaluating the function of the heart and lungs during artificial respiration, and met with potential collaborators at the Telethon Kids Institute and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research regarding potential novel analyses to be performed on existing datasets. She trained research staff in the Anaesthetics Department at Perth Children’s Hospital
on lung function equipment provided by her institution to allow a new study to commence. She also worked with Associate Professor Jane Pillow to evaluate options for measurement of lung volume during artificial respiration at very high breathing rates.