Professor Kamran Behdinan one of many U of T researchers producing healthcare equipment

A multi-disciplinary team of researchers has launched a project to co-ordinate and deploy equipment from across the University of Toronto to produce medical supplies like masks, face shields and ventilators for health-care workers on the front lines of COVID-19.

Kamran Behdinana professor in the department of mechanical and industrial engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, is working to design and manufacture assisted bag ventilator devices – equipment that isn’t in short supply at present, but could become scarce if the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continues to increase.

Behdinan says these low-cost devices could be useful as “last-resort ventilators” that take the place of manually inflated ventilators that are operated by hand by nurses and paramedics.

“We want to make the mechanism as simple as possible, with a minimum number of components, using off-the-shelf parts and easy to fabricate and assemble, so that it’s easily scalable and we can use it on a mass scale if we need to quickly,” says Behdinan, who is director of U of T’s Institute for Multidisciplinary Design & Innovation.

The devices are designed to meet key respiratory parameters, and have features such as the option to be manually operable when required.

Behdinan and collaborators at the department of mechanical and industrial engineering have already carried out a rapid trial and have created a working prototype, using equipment including water jets. He is now working with experts at Toronto General Hospital to prepare an advanced device for clinical trials.

“If this gets out of control – hopefully not – they’ll need something to not get caught off guard, and I’m extremely optimistic that this can be a back-up solution,” Behdinan says.

Read the full story by Rahul Kalvapalle on the U of T News website.

–  This excerpt taken from the story originally published on the University of Toronto’s News Site on April 15, 2020 by Rahul Kalvapalle.

© 2021 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering