The inspiration to develop this project is a current rapid COVID-19 pandemic which is a life-threatening situation for all people with respiratory failure. There is a global deficiency of ventilators, people die and health service is helpless. We want to help to avoid such situations. Therefore, we have developed an idea to create a POLUNIT to support patient's breathing when a professional ventilator is unavailable.

What it does

POLUNIT supports breathing as long as needed until patient is connected to a ventilator. Our solution is very innovative as it allows to connect up more than 2 patients to one unit at the same time.

How I built it

POLUNIT is based on a module construction which consists of a compressed air unit (in the optimal case it will be a blower), an air separation system allowing both hydration and oxygenation of the mixture supplied among individual patients as well as the breathing supporting masks equipped with the sensors (patients intubation is not necessary). The sensors are supposed to monitor a respiratory phase and supply air or allow expiration, if needed, as well as release of carbon dioxide from under a mask at the same time. The compression system will change a direction of oxygenated and hydrated air to the separation system for the even air distribution.  A control and monitor panel incorporated into mask is designed to react and adapt to patient’s respiratory phase to make breathing possible.

Legend For ventilation support unit POLUNIT

  1. Mask with breathing tube
  2. Inspiratory channel
  3. Exhalation channel
  4. Respiratory feedback valve
  5. Tricuspid valve
  6. Photodiode
  7. Light source
  8. Membrane inlet valve
  9. FFP2 decontamination filter
  10. Valve assembly (volume, inspiration time, pause ...)
  11. Inspiratory regulation block
  12. Control signals
  13. Air duct between the air distributor and valves
  14. Air distributor
  15. Air oxygenation block

Challenges I ran into

The challenge we are facing is a synchronization of the breathing phases in individual patients who will be connected to POLUNIT  with a frequency of the air supplied by the unit, the adjustment of an optimal dosage (the amount of air, hydration and oxygenation) of the air supplied as well as an adequately effective carbon dioxide release.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Hope for patients dying due to a shortage of air to breathe. POLUNIT is a solution which can lower a death rate caused by respiratory failure significantly.

What I learned

We have learned that our team can and want to cooperate interdisciplinary together for the good of all. While working on the POLUNIT project our team cooperates online which is not any obstacle for us, especially if take into account how motivated our team is. The fact that our team is interdisciplinary i.e. covers a whole research spectrum, makes our cooperation even more effective.

What's next for POLUNIT ventilation support unit for patients with COVID-19

The next step is to create a prototype of POLUNIT and perform all necessary tests. Providing that the test results will be positive, the production of POLUNIT should be started. The implementation of this project should be done urgently as the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly growing.




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