[PhysioFlex: a target-controlled self-regulating closed-circuit inhalation anesthesia regulator]

Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 1997;16(5):534-40. doi: 10.1016/s0750-7658(97)83349-7.
[Article in French]


Physi Flex is the first commercially available apparatus capable for quantitative, or self-regulating target controlled inhalational anaesthesia, with a totally closed circuit, in adults and children. The fresh gas supply to the circuit is intermittent, automatically regulated by continuous monitoring of the volume and composition of the gas mixture in the breathing circuit. The circle system includes, instead of the two conventional one way valves, a blower creating a continuous unidirectional flow at 70 L.min-1. In addition to the CO2-absorber it contains an absorber with carbon, absorbing the anaesthetic vapour when switched into the circuit. The ventilator consists of four ventilating chambers, each one with a membrane separating the patient and the motor compartments. The displacement of the membranes generates and measures the tidal volume. Automatic ventilation is achieved by electric valves and motor gas, and manual ventilation using a bag. Spontaneous ventilation is also possible. The machine is operated via a computer with selects the number of ventilating chambers (one, two or four), and the tidal volume between 50 and 2,000 mL, depending on age, gender and weight of the patient. The computer maintains the gas volume and the gas and vapour concentrations at their preset values. The O2-flow and consumption, the N2O flow and uptake, FICO2 and FETCO2, FI and FET of the volatile anaesthetic, all other important data are displayed in a numerical and graphical form on a color screen and registered for a delayed analysis. The end tidal concentration of the volatile anaesthetic drives a stepmotor with a syringe containing the selected volatile anaesthetic agent with is directly injected into the breathing circuit where it is vaporized. Therefore the concentration of the anaesthetic vapour can be instantaneously increased with this injector at induction and lowered at end of anaesthesia with the carbon absorber, and the fresh gas consumption is significantly decreased.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthesia, Closed-Circuit / instrumentation*
  • Anesthesia, Closed-Circuit / methods
  • Anesthesia, Inhalation / instrumentation*
  • Anesthesia, Inhalation / methods
  • Anesthetics, Inhalation / administration & dosage
  • Carbon Dioxide / analysis
  • Computers
  • Equipment Design
  • Ergonomics
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation
  • Nitrous Oxide / administration & dosage
  • Nitrous Oxide / analysis
  • Oxygen / analysis


  • Anesthetics, Inhalation
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • Oxygen