Engineers at Brussels’ Vrije Universiteit Brussel design ventilator

Engineers at Brussels’ Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) have designed a ventilator that could help save lives during the current COVID-19 crisis. The university’s Fablab has launched an online fundraiser to get the ventilator certified for use as quickly.  

With the COVID-19 epidemic still to reach its peak a growing number of patients are having to be put on ventilators while in intensive care. If this number were to exceed the number of intensive care beds with ventilators that are available the situation in Belgian hospitals could become critical.  

In order to prevent this from happening students and scientist at VUB’s Fablab have in collaboration with Brussels University Hospital (UZ Brussel) have designed a working prototype of a ventilator.

The next step is to build 10 operational prototypes that will be subject to the durability tests needed to get the ventilator the certification required for it to be produced for use in hospitals. In order to do this the VUB Foundation has launched an online appeal for funds. 

Professor Mark Runacres and his team have received support from companies such as Barco in developing the respirator. The Audi plant in Vorst (Brussels) has already agreed to produce the ventilator once it receives the necessary certification.