Cost-effective, easy-to-manufacture ventilator for COVID-19 patients

The Mechanical Ventilator Milano, developed by an international team, is interdisciplinary, inexpensive and simple to manufacture, and has been licensed by US and Canadian organizations. Credit: MVM Collaboration

Scientists have been working for the past year to find ways to reduce the effects of COVID-19 pandemic disease. Although outside their usual field of study, physicists have played an important role in many aspects of the study of pandemic and its impact on humans.

Particle physics ’detailed understanding of gas handling systems put them at the forefront of high-cost, high-cost aircraft to help address global shortages. Led by Cristian Galbiati, a professor of physics at Princeton University and the Gran Sasso Institute of Science, an international, interdisciplinary team called the Milano Mechanical Ventilator (MVM) collaboration led one effort and demonstrated the design in the magazine Physics of wetness.

The project began in March 2020, shortly after Italy entered a lockout. Just a week later, the MVM collaboration had a working prototype.

The ventilation consists of an inlet gas valve and a gas inlet valve, along with a series of controls and alarms to ensure proper patient-to-patient monitoring and routineization. The design is built from readily available parts and supplied under open license, allowing developing countries to make their own units quickly and easily.

“The idea behind the system design was to be as simple as possible – deliver air through one valve, air through one valve,” Galbiati said.

Because the MVM is developed specifically for COVID-19 patients, it has reduced functional capacity compared to conventional ventilators. This simpler design cuts the cost of production by up to five times to less than $ 10,000 per unit.

“We have this pandemic, and you feel something helpless as someone who is not a physicist,” said Arthur McDonald, a Nobel laureate at Queen ‘s University and co – author of the paper. “Our collaborations with materials physicists, engineers, and software experts from national, academic, and industry laboratories have harnessed their existing talents to create innovative new design and new manufacturing capability. issued internationally to address the worst cases through the pandemic. “

“For a scientist who is committed to basic research, such as finding the dark cause of the universe, it is extremely important to spend time and knowledge to build tools that will help improve human health,” he said. Walter Bonivento, senior scientist at INFN Cagliari and co-author of the paper.

The MVM has already received an emergency use license from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and received approval from the Health Canada Medical Equipment Directorate. Approximately 6,000 units have been delivered to date under contract from the Canadian government for the stockpile, with the capacity for more, if requested. Contributions from Canada to developing countries from the outset of the contract award have also been considered.

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Further information:
“The Milano Mechanical Ventilator novel for COVID-19 pandemics” Physics of wetness (2021).

Presented by the American Institute of Physics

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