Researchers in Barcelona create a low-cost ventilator for areas with limited means

1 May, 2020
Researchers from the Respiratory biophysics and bioengineering IDIBAPS research group, the Biophysics and Bioengineering Unit of the University of Barcelona and the CIBERES have created a non-invasive low-cost ventilator, to support patients with respiratory diseases in areas with limited means. Researchers published the results of the study in the European Respiratory Journal together with open source technical features to build it.

Non-invasive ventilators are usually used to treat patients with respiratory failure: for instance, those with severe symptoms with COVID-19. Non-invasive ventilation is administrated through facial masks that bring pressured air to the lungs. This support to the natural breathing process, when the disease causes the lungs to fail, enables the body to fight the infection and therefore improve. 

The study was carried out in the Biophysics and Bioengineering Unit of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Barcelona, led by Ramono Farré, professor of Physiology and member of the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS)  and the Respiratory Diseases Networking Biomedical Research Centre (CIBERES). “Considering the growing need for ventilator support devices everywhere due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we designed a ventilator that can be built with commercial elements at a low cost. The ventilator is aimed at hospitals and health systems to help cover the demand of respiratory equipment due to the coronavirus and other severe lung diseases”, notes Farré.