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Low-Cost Ventilator Designed by Amrita School of Engineering, Amritapuri Campus

Some people who contract COVID-19 develop severe pneumonia in both lungs and must be put on a ventilator so that they can continue to breathe. The world over, the fear is that if the pandemic spreads too rapidly hospitals have an inadequate number of ventilators. With an estimated 10% of COVID-19 patients requiring ventilators, some analysts have determined the world needs approximately nine lakh more ventilators than it currently has. At Amrita, Mr. Akhil M.S, Mr. Bharath K.R, and Dr. Manjula Nair (Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Amrita School of Engineering, Amritapuri) came up with a prototype for a low-cost ventilator. It uses an Ambu bag and can provide the basic functionality of an advanced ventilator, with limited control-action capabilities. “We connected an electric motor to a mechanical actuator. This presses and releases the Ambu bag in relation to the control-knob’s position, which in turn operates the ventilator,” said Mr. Akhil M.S. from Amrita School of Engineering. “We are currently further enhancing the prototype, providing different modes so that one can manually control the duration the ventilator intakes, holds and expresses air.” Another recent development comes from the Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine (ACNSMM), Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi. There, a team of doctors, researchers and professors developed a nanotechnology-based filter that can be used as a facemask material to protect its wearer from viruses and other harmful bio-organisms.

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