Obstructive sleep apnoea is an under-recognised and increasingly common chronic disease in middle aged and older adults. If untreated, it is related to a number of serious conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke.
We study the physiology of the upper airway to understand the conditions under which it narrows and collapses, resulting in sleep disordered breathing. Our research focuses on the mechanical properties of the tissues of the upper airway and why they fail in obstructive sleep apnoea.
We use a variety of complementary approaches including computer modelling, mechanical bench models, laboratory based studies, and investigations using both healthy humans and subjects with sleep disordered breathing. Our research is generating the knowledge around which we can design better and more targeted treatments for humans with this serious condition.