Initiated in March 2020, a group of engineers in Spain led by the Barcelona based company Protofy.xyz, developed OxyGEN, an open hardware ventilator design to address the COVID-19 shortage. Working with two hospitals in Barcelona, the design is in its fifth iteration to provide an efficient and safe device. The automated AMBU ventilator design prototype has already passed all the hospital tests. However, to release information, the team needs the approval of a Spanish medicine state agency – AEMPS.
Two versions of OxyGEN are available:
- OxyGEN-M or version “M” is easy to build for makers, fablabs or prototype workshops, buildable in wood or acrylic
- OxyGEN-P or version “IP” is for mass industrial production in metal, for industrial scale
The repository of files on GitHub and a download are available at https://www.oxygen.protofy.xyz/home .
Another group effort consists of physicists from Europe and North America at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy who interrupted their normal work, looking for dark matter, to develop the Mechanical Ventilator Milano (MVM). Their design addresses the essential features for a new ventilator design specified by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the UK.
In the MVM, the pressure of the oxygen in a patient’s lungs is controlled using two fail-safe valves in the form of vent traps – columns of liquid with a specific depth. One ensures a certain maximum pressure during inhalation and the other determines the minimum pressure following exhalation.
The team expects that the minimal mechanical ventilator can be mass-produced quickly and cheaply using off-the-shelf components.