Researchers at Malmö University are part of an international network that produces drawings to be able to manufacture cheap respirators. The equipment will now be inspected and the hope is that it will be able to be used within two years.
A group of volunteers in various specialist areas, including dentists, doctors and engineers, have formed the LibreLabs platform. Covid-19 has shown the need to be able to help patients through the development of new technology. The purpose of the collaboration is to make medical technology accessible to all. The drawings can be downloaded for free.
- The pandemic has shown that the lack of respirators is a problem in many parts of the world, for example in my home country Sri Lanka, says Manjula Herath, doctoral student at the Faculty of Dentistry.
Lives up to medical standard
Respirators help patients with breathing. The aim is to make a sustainable and affordable solution that is made available for production in low- and middle-income countries, where there is a significant shortage of respirators.
- It’s not a field respirator. It will be a respirator that lives up to the medical technical European standard and that works for long-term use. We are not there yet, but that is our goal, says Manjula Herath.
Together with colleague Lisa Papia, senior lecturer and dental technician, he has developed a design for 3D prints of some of the key components found in a respirator. Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have contributed computer simulations. In total, about 15 researchers are included in the project.
Can be ready within two years
- We produce the drawings and create files. Based on them, you should be able to make respirators yourself, says Lisa Papia.
A first prototype will undergo a quality assessment in London by an independent party to see if the equipment works as intended. Manjula Herath and Lisa Papia believe that this will be ready within six months. Changes will probably need to be made, and they consider it realistic that an approved respirator can be in place within two years.
- To be able to get there, we need financing, which is something we work with, says Manjula Herath.
”A commercially manufactured respirator today costs around 10,000 dollars and we believe that ours can be manufactured for around a tenth of that cost,” he says.