News May 18, 2020

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Support Efforts to Design Mechanical Ventilator Milano

The Canadian Nuclear Laboratories collaborates with an impressive and growing team to develop, assemble and test emergency ventilators to aid in the growing need for ventilators for COVID-19 relief efforts.

Mechanical Ventilator Milano

The Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is collaborating with organizations worldwide to develop, assemble and test innovative emergency ventilators to aid in the growing, urgent need for ventilators to provide relief to patients suffering from the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The world needed a new technology, simple to deploy and use, yet safe and reliable, and easily replicated on a very large scale.

The answer?

The Mechanical Ventilator Milano (MVM), a ventilator designed through an international collaboration of nuclear and particle physicists, along with government and industry partners to aid individuals who have been impacted by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The MVM, now approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, requires a relatively low number of components that are readily available or “off the shelf” parts, allowing for large-scale, yet short production time with lower costs.

Photo courtesy of Mechanical Ventilator Milano

Mechanical Ventilator Milano 2

The design is intended to be powerful, yet gentle on the lungs, and is equipped with a detailed computer control system. And, the MVM team is working with manufacturers to develop and distribute 1,000 ventilators per week in the near future.

Who’s involved in this life-saving collaboration?

The effort to design, create and distribute the MVM emergency ventilators has truly been a global effort. Italy’s National Institute for Nuclear Physics and groups from various Italian Universities were the initial contributors, developing a first industrialized prototype. The prototype fully demonstrated the viability of the conceptual design, based on a 1961 Manley ventilator, which led to an expansion of the team.

The Canadian team is led by Nobel Laureate Dr Art MacDonald, a special advisor to our team at the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, where Jacobs is part of the consortium that owns CNL.

From there, two other national laboratories in Canada, including TRIUMF and SNOLAB joined the efforts. The U.S. collaboration includes people from Fermilab and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, two of the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories, as well as staff from U.S. universities. The European collaboration also includes people from CNRS-IN2P3 and CIEMAT.

Read the inclusive list of MVM contributors and partners here. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently lauded this initiative and the Government of Canada is now joining the effort.

CNL’s contribution

The Canadian Nuclear Laboratories prides itself for being an industry-leading science and technology organization and their contribution to the MVM production proves this once again. CNL’s focus in the MVM project was on supporting the engineering and design of the ventilators, specifically the electrical drawings, high-level mechanical assembly drawings and the system flowsheets. Additionally, the CNL cybersecurity team is providing oversight and guidance to the quality software development program.

Why is it important?

Ventilators are life support machines that assist people who are unable to breathe on their own by pumping oxygen into the lungs and helping to remove carbon dioxide as the patient breathes out. The need for ventilators has increased in conjunction with the number of COVID-19 cases.

During this crisis we have seen individuals, groups and organizations around the world step in to provide a helping hand in any way they can. Jacobs is enormously proud to be a part of the CNL team using their expertise to develop and distribute a life-saving tool to those in need.

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