Development of a Portable Mechanical Ventilator using 3D Origami Tubes to Fight COVID-19

Kim, Woo Soo | $50,000

British Columbia Simon Fraser University 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

The proposed project involves a joint effort between Dr. Woo Soo Kim’s team at Simon Fraser University (SFU), a co-applicant, Dr. Lillian Hung, Assistant Professor in the University of British Columbia (UBC) Nursing, a Healthcare collaborator, Ms. Ingrid Hakanson, Vancouver General Hospital (VGH)’s Respiratory Therapy Department who are currently interacting with COVID‑19 patients daily, the manufacturer of the ventilator, Pantheon design, Vancouver in BC, and one 3D printer manufacturer for mass production of the portable ventilator, Tinkerine, Delta in BC. We propose here the design and prototyping of a low-cost portable 3D printed mechanical ventilator with Origami tubes for the use in mass pandemic situation and resource-poor environment with COVID-19. The proposed mechanical ventilator delivers breaths by contracting 3D designed Origami tube instead of compressing a conventional bag-valve mask (BVM). The 3D designed Origami tube will change its volume more than 85 % of the original volume, which is compared with conventional BVM’s 25 % volume change. Therefore, the proposed ventilator can become much smaller size than the conventional one for the portable application.

With a timely investment, the team will generate pivotal breakthrough for a portable ventilator, creating a full-fledged manufacturing platform poised to benefit from optimized design, low-cost processing, and mechanical durability. The proposed research presents a new direction within the medical ventilator design sector; there are very few research projects focusing on the manufacturing of a portable ventilator air bag and their systematic applications for COVID-19. The portable ventilator technology has already generated worldwide interest. But, 3D printable self-foldable portable ventilator concept is quite new and unique. Therefore, Canada will be poised with a global technology advantage with this development. Our future goal is to make the Origami air tube versatile for many other types of mechanical ventilator applications.

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