By MANAE NARITA/ Staff Writer
April 13, 2020 at 08:00 JST
HIROSHIMA--Japanese researchers are moving to offer free blueprints that will allow health care providers to create their own ventilators using 3-D printers.
Scientists at Hiroshima University and elsewhere started the project in the hope of addressing a global ventilator shortage due to the new coronavirus outbreak.
Requests to offer drawing data for the breathing machine for medical purposes poured in from around the world.
“We are fighting a powerful enemy,” Tomohiko Kisaka, an associate professor of bio-design at Hiroshima University’s Translational Research Center, told a news conference in March. “We want to save lives by harnessing the power and wisdom of science.”
The substitute for a mechanical ventilator can be assembled from four printed parts. The spring-equipped respirator works on air pressure, even without electricity, according to the researchers.
The machine was developed by Naoyuki Ishikita, a doctor at Niigata Hospital in Niigata Prefecture, in 2017 for use in space. It was successfully recreated with a 3-D printer on the International Space Station.
Ishikita, Kisaka and other project members plan to obtain approval to release the mechanical ventilator as a medical device. They will also develop a manual to allow health care providers across the globe to take advantage of it.
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