cpap mask

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

Learn how TE Connectivity (TE) sensors are used to measure pressure, temperature, and humidity in CPAP devices to increase patient comfort and aide in the reduction of stress on the heart.

Applying Pressure

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices are used to force breathable air into the lungs of patients who suffer from sleep apnea, where breathing unintentionally starts and stops during sleep. Detecting and curing the interval breathing cessation during overnight sleep helps to reduce the risk of hyper blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and relative secondary diseases. Sensors allow for the continuous, accurate control of air flow, pressure, vibration and humidity to keep patients comfortable and safe.

Air Flow, Photo Optic, and Pressure

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mass airflow graph

Mass air flow sensors are designed to measure the input oxygen level into the system to provide a sufficient air supply.  TE Connectivity (TE) mass air flow sensors are board mountable devices that are available in a uni-directional or bi-directional configuration; this allows the bi-directional option allows for positive and negative air flow measurement across the sensor.

finger clip photo optic sensor
photo optic sensor

Photo optic sensors helps doctors to diagnose the sleep apnea.  Measuring blood oxygen concentration is one of the vital signals to measure the efficiency of breathing during sleep. Sometimes patients complete the action of breath, yet do not inhale enough oxygen into their lungs; consequently the oxygen concentration in the blood is reduced significantly. Photo optic sensors includes both photo optic components and complete sensor solutions. The pulse oximetry (SpO2) probe platform includes reusable finger clips, soft silicone boots, and a range of disposable sensor assemblies.


Pressure measurement is crucial to the CPAP system in terms of performance and accuracy.  Board mounted pressure sensors are embedded throughout the device, starting with the air chamber.  Pressure sensors, such as the MS4515 series, can measure the pressure and feed information to a display with more accurate readings than a traditional needle gauge. 


The MS4515 pressure sensor can also be used to measure the air pressure after the turbine; this sensor, along with the MS5525 series, have a high tolerance for overpressure with small pressure measurement ranges. 

MS4515 digital output pressure sensor
MS5525 Small Digital Output Pressure Sensor

Measuring the breathing pressure can also be critical to a successful system.  Variations and vibrations in breathing pressure, such as snoring, can be detected at the turbine respirator during operation.  


Carbon dioxide levels during exhalation can be calculated using a differential pressure sensor.  By using a differential pressure sensor that can measure a difference in pressure of 2 inches of water column, the CPAP system can better understand the COoutput of the patient to adjust the input pressure.

piezoelectric sensor outline

A highly versatile, enabling sensor technology, Piezoelectric film has thin cross-section (28μm - 110 μm in thickness), is flexible, very robust, chemically inert and can withstand temperatures up to 85°C (125°C with special processing). Piezo film is used in sleep apnea diagnosis equipment and CPAP devices to help doctors and patients to know the status of breathing. Rythmic breath is a key indicator of good sleep, which the Piezo film can detect by measuring vibrations during the breathing process.

Temperature and Humidity Sensors

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HTU20 Series Humidity and Temperature Sensor
HTU20 Series Humidity and Temperature Sensor
HTU21 Series Humidity and Temperature Sensor with filter
HTU21 Series Humidity and Temperature Sensor with filter

Sensors are available directly in the vent to measure humidity and temperature from a single device.  Temperature and humidity sensors with digital output signals can be embedded close to the mask to to get the most accurate measurement of inhalation.  Air temperature is usually maintained around 40°C within a 0.3°C accuracy. With the added distance from the controls by being located at the mask, the digital output signal avoids signal attenuation.

Featured Sensors

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