In view of the urgent need to provide intensive care units with more ventilators for patients with COVID-19, a team of Portuguese researchers created minimalist models, produced with common materials, using 3D printing and with a production cost of less than 1000 euros.
After testing on living beings successfully, the ventilators are now closer to being certified by Infarmed – National Authority for Medicines and Health Products. MiniVent – Minimalist Ventilator for COVID-19 is the name of the clinical research project that brings together scientists from FCT NOVA – Faculty of Science and Technology, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa and NOVA Medical School, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (NMS).
The research team responsible for the project believes that these ventilators could make a big difference in health systems in countries where these devices do not exist, regardless of the evolution of the pandemic.
“We aim to explore, in the future, ways to train local teams from countries with needs of this type of equipment so that they can assemble their own fans, as these are truly simple to do and use, they are reliable and have a relatively low cost. down ”, says Luís Gil, Professor at FCT NOVA.
For Pedro Póvoa, from NMS, “this project fulfills two potential needs: in the event that conventional fans are exhausted, having alternative equipment; on the other hand, having a simple, safe and inexpensive solution for countries where access to fans is often non-existent ”.
MiniVent has been developed, since March of this year, by a multidisciplinary team, composed of researchers from FCT NOVA (UNIDEMI, CTS and LIBPhys research centers) and NOVA Medical School (CHRC), first through self-organization, then financed by the Foundation for Science and Technology, under the RESEARCH 4 COVID19 program, and, more recently, financed by the National Innovation Agency.
The project has a partnership with the University of Coimbra, through the Laboratory of Instrumentation and Experimental Particle Physics and the Institute of Nuclear Sciences Applied to Health.