The news about the increasing number of people seriously ill and deceased from Covid-19, e.g. B. in Italy or Spain can no longer be ventilated due to a lack of technology, prompted Saxon researchers to develop a 3D-printed emergency ventilator in a very short time. If there are not enough high-tech ventilation systems available, this should be the last resort for medical professionals. It is not a certified medical device, but is intended to serve as a last resort.
A research team from the fields of biomedical engineering and mathematics at the WHZ also contributed to this development. Within 7 days, the scientists from the University Hospital Leipzig, the WHZ and the Fraunhofer IWU managed to develop a prototype that was successfully tested last Friday at the University Hospital in Leipzig. It was important during development to integrate sensors and control options in order to be able to set and monitor the main ventilation parameters. Doctors were involved in the development of the emergency ventilator from the outset, ensuring that the devices met the practical requirements.
WHZ lung phantom in the service of saving lives
Above all, the excellent networking of the researchers through projects such as "Brain Spatula", "Augmented Reality in the Operating Room" made the rapid development possible. The WHZ was able to support the project by providing the lung phantom to test the ventilation system under realistic conditions. At the Zwickau University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr. Jens Füssel and laboratory engineer Fabiola Basan are responsible for the tests and modifications in the WHZ laboratories. The programming was supported by the research assistant Marcus Löffler from the mathematics department.
Commitment is also a family matter
A family connection was also an advantage for the project. Various mechanical drive concepts had to be designed and tested, rotary and linear motors evaluated and gears integrated. Lukas Basan was mainly responsible for this. "I'm studying automotive engineering at the WHZ in the 4th semester. My mother Fabiola Basan works at the university as a laboratory engineer in the field of biomedical engineering and asked me if I would like to support this important project. 3D printing is one of my main interests," says Lukas Basan about the beginnings of the interdisciplinary family collaboration. The student was also enthusiastic about the experimental setup, which was implemented within a few hours after design and production by 3:00 a.m.
3 ventilators per day and printer - worldwide imitation desired
With a 3D printer, 3 systems can be printed per day. You can start this week. These emergency ventilators can be used internationally in all facilities where there are not enough high-tech ventilator systems available. With access to an international network of 3D printers, the systems could also be manufactured in large numbers in different countries. All other required components such as motors, electronics or sensors can currently still be delivered quickly in large quantities.
To the video about the emergency ventilator
The system is medically supported by the deputy director of the clinic and polyclinic for neurosurgery at the Leipzig University Hospital, Prof. Dirk Winkler, who worked as an emergency doctor for many years. He is the medical director of the Next3D research group and is involved in several WHZ projects (currently "Brain Spatula", "Augmented Reality in the OP").
The Next3D working group at Leipzig University Hospital is certified according to the ISO13485 medical technology standard and is generally allowed to produce and market patient-specific 3D-printed instruments and models that are considered custom-made according to the Medical Devices Act.
For the coordination of the entire project, Dr. Ronny Grunert from the University of Leipzig and the Fraunhofer IWU is responsible, he graduated in medical technology from the WHZ.
Source: Press release from the West Saxon University of Applied Sciences in Zwickau from April 06.04.2020th, XNUMX
The non-university research institutions in Saxony are at the service of health protection and support the evaluation of Covid19 tests. Several research laboratories are currently being prepared for this. Prof. Friedemann Horn is coordinating the project with other partners. The expert works at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI) in Leipzig and has created a network with other research institutions in close cooperation with the Leipzig University Hospital. The laboratory network also includes the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, which has mobilized employees to provide support.
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