Vernier Air Flow and Lung Volume for NI ELVIS II

Publish Date: Oct 30, 2011 | 2 Ratings | 4.00 out of 5 | Print | Submit your review


Students learn about the various factors influencing breathing rate and lung volume using the Vernier spirometer. A challenge section at the end of this lab introduces basic LabVIEW programming techniques that allow students to understand how the LabVIEW code acquires and transforms the data into signals that can be analyzed.


The spirometer uses a differential pressure transducer to measure air flow rate. In the center of the flow head is a mesh screen. When a subject blows into the flow head, a slight difference in pressure occurs between the front and the back surface of the screen as air is forced through. A tube in front of the screen and a tube behind the screen pass the pressures to the differential pressure transducer, which allows for direct measurement of airflow rate (L/s). Volume (L) can then be calculated from this data by integrating the flow rate as a function of time.

The spirometer can be used to perform a variety of tests, including tests for forced expiratory volume (FEV), forced vital capacity (FVC), and tidal volume (TV). FEV is the volume of air exhaled after a short period of constant effort. FVC is the volume of air exhaled by a forced maximal exhalation after a full inhalation. TV is the volume of air inhaled and exhaled at rest. In this lab, students will perform each of these tests.



  • NI LabVIEW 8.5.1 or later
  • NI Biomedical Startup Kit 3.0
  • NI ELVIS II Series Benchtop Workstation
  • NI ELVIS II Series Prototyping Board
  • AC/DC power supply
  • NI ELVISmx 4.0 or later CD
  • High-speed USB 2.0 cable
  • Computer
  • Wires to build circuits
  • Vernier Analog Proto Board Connector  (Order code BTA-ELV)
  • Vernier Spirometer (Order code SPR-BTA)


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