CSIR L.I.F.E. - Acting swiftly to touch lives through innovation.

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The digital design and production of a local ventilator to support the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic took place in under 3 months and saw the CSIR take the lead in this collaborative effort to swiftly touch lives through innovation.

Under the auspices of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), the CSIR worked closely with several local partners to develop the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device that uses an innovative design to provide a mild level of oxygenated air pressure to keep the airways open and, thus, assist with breathing. Through this project, a total of 18 000 ventilators were produced supplying oxygen to Covid-19 patients showing respiratory distress.

Under the project name, ‘CSIR L.I.F.E.’ (Lung Inspiratory Flow Enabler), the innovative system uses standard, hospital-grade oxygen supply, and features easy-to-use, on-device flow gages to adjust Fraction of Inspired Oxygen in steps of 10% oxygenation.

The development forms part of government’s National Ventilator Project (NVP) and is supported by the Solidarity Fund. “While ensuring that we achieve this in a short period of time, we had to ensure that we follow a rigorous, documented product lifecycle methodology that would ensure scalable manufacturing, as well as compliance and licensing under the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and guidelines of the World Health Organization,” says Ajith Gopal, Executive Manager of CSIR Future Production: Manufacturing.

For more information on the CSIR’s L.I.F.E Ventilators contact Riaan Coetzee at rcoetzee@csir.co.za  or visit https://www.csir.co.za/ventilator
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