UJ team develops mechanical ventilator in Covid-19 fight

Johannesburg – The University of Johannesburg (UJ) engineering team has developed mechanical ventilators that can provide oxygen to multiple patients. 

  The team uses 3D printing. The device, called the Aura Imprimere, meaning a ‘breeze of air’ provided by printing, is about the size of two laptops and can run on batteries for over an hour.

  Senior lecturer at UJ’s mechanical engineering sciences department, Dr Nkosinathi Madushele said it basically automates the operation of an ambu-bag, a simple hand-held device used to provide positive pressure ventilation to patients.

  “The electronic parts are to control how much pressure goes into the patient’s lungs, as well as the controller, which regulates the pressure,” Madushele said.

  He added that they were in talks with medical experts to ensure the device could perform under different in-hospital scenarios.

  “This will be developed by chemical and electrical engineers, so we need technicians’ inputs now,” he said.

  The team will be making the software and designs freely available, to ensure any producer around the world can manufacture the device.

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