Dr. Bill Sheel is a Professor in the School of Kinesiology and head of the Health and Integrative Physiology Lab at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
His research focuses on the understanding of how the respiratory and cardiovascular systems are integrated and work together such that manipulation of one system has consequences for the other. The long-term objective of his research program is to understand how the human respiratory and cardiovascular systems interact, respond and adapt to physiological stressors such as exercise or hypoxia. Two research lines are currently being pursued in his Laboratory. The ﬁrst explores respiratory inﬂuences on neurovascular control. The focus of the second one is to better understand how biological sex inﬂuences the inter-relationships between airway anatomy, respiratory mechanics, distribution of blood ﬂow, and skeletal muscle fatigue.
For these purposes, Dr. Sheel uses the BTS Bioengineering OEP System (Optoelectronic plethysmography) in combination with standard clinical tests such as spirometry and plethysmography tests to perform accurate measurements of the thoraco-abdominal wall absolute volume. The OEP System measures breathing volumes in real time through the detection of the position of 89 markers placed on specific reference points of the patient’s trunk. The OEP System provides direct measurements (both absolute and its variations) of the volume of the chest wall and its three compartments: Pulmonary, Abdominal and Abdomen. The precise assessment of compartmental changes in chest wall volumes provides a detailed description of the action and control of the different respiratory muscle groups, and the assessment of chest wall dynamics in a number of physiological and clinical conditions. The OEP System allows Dr. Sheel and his team to measure lung volume variations non-invasively, breath by breath, even over long periods of time, and to collect highly precise and accurate data.
Marker Placement for OEP analysis:
Images provided by BTS Bioengineering S.p.a
Dr. Sheel’s research will be the platform for future clinical trials designed to evaluate the impact of interventions with the potential to improve breathlessness in aging. His findings will provide an evidence-base for treatment of activity-related breathlessness as well as sex-specific treatment plans for the management of patients with cardiopulmonary diseases.