AmbuBox: A Fast-Deployable Low-Cost Ventilator for COVID-19 Emergent Care
Authors: Zecong Fang, Andrew I. Li, Hongcheng Wang, Ruoyu Zhang, Xiyan Mai, and Tingrui Pan
We present a low-cost clinically viable ventilator design, AmbuBox, using a controllable pneumatic enclosure and standard manual resuscitators that are readily available (AmbuBag), which can be rapidly deployed during pandemic and masscasualty events with a minimal set of components to manufacture and assemble. The AmbuBox is designed to address the existing challenges presented in the existing low-cost ventilator designs by offering an easy-to-install and simple-to-operate apparatus while maintaining a long lifespan with high-precision flow control. As an outcome, a mass-producible prototype of the AmbuBox has been devised, characterized, and validated in a bench test setup using a lung simulator. This prototype will be further investigated through clinical testing. Given the potentially urgent need for inexpensive and rapidly deployable ventilators globally, the overall design, operational principle, and device characterization of the AmbuBox system have been described in detail with open access online. Moreover, the fabrication and assembly methods have been incorporated to enable short-term producibility by a generic local manufacturing facility. In addition, a full list of all components used in the AmbuBox has been included to reflect its low-cost nature.
Fig. Overview of the testing system and assembly of AmbuBox. (A) Photo of the testing system, with key components labeled; and (B–D) the bidirectional assembly of AmbuBag into the AmbuBox chamber.
Fig. Demonstration of AmbuBox ventilator. (A–C) Real-time adjustment of tidal volume, under the testing conditions of compliance (C) = 20 mL/cmH2O, resistance (R) = 20 cmH2O/(L/s), peak end expiratory pressure (PEEP) = 5 cmH2O, input pressure (P ) i = 15 psi, and respiratory rate (RR) = 10 bpm; (D–F) adjustment of respiratory rate, under the testing conditions of C = 20 mL/cmH2O, R = 20 cmH2O/(L/s), PEEP = 5 cmH2O, Pi = 15 psi, and duration of inflation (t ) infl = 1.8 s; (G–I) adjustment of PEEP pressure, under the testing conditions of C = 20 mL/cmH2O, R = 20 cmH2O/(L/s), Pi = 15 psi, RR = 10 bpm, and tinfl = 1.8 s; and (J–L) long-term stability test with a brand-new AmbuBag, under the testing conditions of C = 20 mL/cmH2O, R = 20 cmH2O/(L/s), PEEP = 5 cmH2O, Pi = 15 psi, RR = 10 bpm, and tinfl = 1.5 s.
Keywords: Ventilator, AmbuBag; bag valve mask; pneumatic; COVID-19; pinch valves