27. Mar 2020
LEITAT Technological Centre, the beneficiary of two BBI JU projects, has led the development of 3D-printed ventilators to help hospitals deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. T
The Spanish technological centre has been involved with the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking on a project to improve the value extracted from lignin, to which it contributed its 3D printing expertise, and as part of a consortium working to improve the production of the bio-based chemical isosorbide for biomedical and automotive applications, adhesives and furniture.
Now, however, it is putting its expertise work in the fight against COVID-19.
A major bottleneck in the supportive treatment provided to coronavirus victims is the dire shortage of ventilators. Patients suffering from pneumonia caused by the virus are in many cases unable to maintain healthy blood oxygen levels as their lungs shut down. The only available treatment is supportive – hooking them up to ventilators while their body battles the infection.
Leitat has designed a 3D-printed ventilator to make this essential device available to the health system. The device has already been tested and, says Leitat, has the virtue of being industrially scalable, meaning that in the next week it can reach a production capacity of between 50 and 100 units per day.
The Leitat 1 has a simplified design and components. The aim was to develop a robust, useful and uncomplex medical device, to promote easy production and assembly.
The design is from Leitat’s senior engineer, Mr. Magí Galindo. This has been medically validated by Dr. Lluís Blanch, Director of Innovation at the Parc Taulí Hospital in Sabadell, and an expert in mechanical ventilation.
Its production will begin immediately. Already, an improved model -Leitat2 – is under development.
The companies Airbus and Navantia have joined the alliance for its production, which will also rely on the production capacity communities of users and makers, with the aim of increasing its production capacity in very few days.
The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) is a €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium. Operating under Horizon 2020, this EU body is driven by the Vision and Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) developed by the industry.