People suffering from emphysema don’t have great therapy options, but UC Davis Health is participating in a clinical trial of a new device that might help them breathe better.

UC Davis is taking part in a clinical trial of a new device aimed at improving lung function in emphysema patients. It’s a tiny valve that’s inserted into the airways leading to the diseased part of the lungs. It blocks fresh air from going to the bad part of the lung, but also allows old air to escape.

“What we’re trying to do is get rid of the bad parts of the lungs, so to speak—make them not participate in a breath by allowing them to deflate if you will, or collapse a little bit,” said Dr Brian Morrissey.