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UJ engineering team fights COVID-19 with mechanical ventilator

The mechanical ventilators, dubbed the Aura Imprimere, meaning a breeze of air provided by printing, is about the size of two laptops and can run on batteries for over an hour.

The engineering team from the University of Johannesburg which has developed mechanical ventilators that can provide oxygen to multiple patients. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - University students and lecturers are developing mechanical ventilators that can provide oxygen to multiple patients.

The engineering team from the University of Johannesburg uses 3D printing.

The device, dubbed the Aura Imprimere, meaning a breeze of air provided by printing, is about the size of two laptops and can run on batteries for over an hour.

Dr Nkosinathi Madushele, a senior lecturer in UJ’s mechanical engineering sciences department, said it basically automates the operation of an ambu-bag, a simple hand-held device used to provide positive pressure ventilation to patients.

“The electronic parts are to control how much pressure goes into the patient’s lungs, as well as the controller which regulates the pressure.”

Madushele said they were in talks with medical experts to ensure the device could perform under different in-hospital scenarios.

“This will be developed by chemical and electrical engineers, so we need technicians’ inputs now.”

The team will be making the software and designs freely available to ensure any producer around the world can manufacture the device.

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