3D Printed Ventilator Manifold Might One Day Save Patients from Lung Damage

Share this Article

Woman Wearing Surgical Mask While Strolling on the Street in Donora

Woman Wearing Surgical Mask While Strolling on the Street in Donora

During October 1948, a cool snap descended on the small mill town of Donora, Pennsylvania.

The people in Donora were dependent on the steel and zinc factories that surrounded their town, and those plants regularly released a mix of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and fluoride gas as a result of the work that went on inside. During normal weather conditions, the fumes were whisked away by prevailing winds.

But that October, the sudden influx of cold air created what’s known as an inversion, and that event trapped the toxic mix of gases at the bottom of the valley where the town sat. As the air turned progressively darker, the factories kept running, and at the end of just five days, 20 people were dead. Fifty more died over the course of the next month, and it was later discovered that all told, 6,000 had suffered permanent heart and lung damage.

It was the single most deadly air pollution disaster in American history.

During the disaster, patient after patient spent time hooked up to all the mechanical ventilators available in the small town of 13,000, and the local hospitals were pushed to the brink of their capability.

Ventilators are machines that it easier for patients to breathe, assisting breathing through a mask or mouthpiece by delivering oxygen and eliminating carbon dioxide, and in Donora, respiratory failure — or a low level of oxygen in the blood — became endemic as the levels of pollution rose.

While mechanical ventilators don’t actually repair diseases, they can keep a patient alive while the condition causing the difficulty is assessed.

Now a team of researchers have used 3D design, modeling, and printing to create a ‘manifold’ which can be attached to multiple respiration masks from a single ventilator machine — which may one day prove critical in dealing with disaster surges like the Donora incident.htmlimages_2-1750025x_644fbb6c-d9e9-4f8a-95c1-4ee26a91dc56

The manifold allows up to four masks to be connected to a single ventilator source, and the researchers used 3D printing via a Fused Filament Deposition (FDM) machine to build their prototype of a four-port ventilator manifold.

The team say by sharing the standard file format they used for the object, it can be made globally available through the internet, 3D printed anywhere and anytime at less than $2 per unit, and used to save patients in areas with limited healthcare resources.Image 6

The developers used the CAD program TrueSpace to create their four-port Ventilator-Respirator Manifold, and the design was checked for surface integrity and water tightness in Netfabb before being printed in ABS. Printing time using an Up!3D Afinia printer was just about five hours, and by material weight used (61.4 grams) costs are estimated to stay under two dollars per manifold.

The manifold was created and built by Richard Siderits of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Gregory Neyman of the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

Do you know of other instances where researchers are using 3D printing to create modifications for medical devices? Let us know in the 3D Printed Ventilator-Respirator Manifold forum thread on 3DPB.com.manifold

 

Facebook Comments

Share this Article


Related Articles

Researchers Design Fully Articulated 3D Printed Finger Prosthesis

3D Printed Splints & Braces: Just As Effective & Comfortable, Cheaper & Faster to Make



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

UC Davis Health Surgeons Use 3D Printed Medical Model to Reconstruct Eye Socket

3D printed medical models are improving the way UC Davis Health physicians are able to diagnose, treat, and educate patients, medical students, and themselves about health conditions, some of which...

UK Researchers Inspired by Astrophysics to Improve Imaging for 3D Printed Models

Like cancer, heart disease and the many conditions surrounding it (along with other related systems in the human body) can often cause fatal complications, leading researchers around the world to...

Interview with Alexander Oster of Autodesk

Alexander Oster is an extremely knowledgeable 3D printing person. If we’re looking at mesh repair or 3D printing files & software I’d consider Alexander the number one person worldwide. He...

Australian Researchers Research Feasibility of 3D Printed Ankle/Foot Orthotics for Functionality & Comfort

3D printing has played a large and varied role in medical implants, devices, and more. Australian researchers from the University of Sydney recently published ‘Feasibility of designing, manufacturing and delivering...


Training


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Print Services

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!