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CSU Alumnus and Professor Develop Novel, Low-Cost Ventilator

Mike Sturdevant, a graduate of Cleveland State University’s mechanical engineering program, and Bogdan Kozul, a professor of practice in mechanical engineering at CSU, are working to develop new, low-cost ventilators to help address the large spike in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their goal is to increase the national supply and ensure all have access to the life-saving machines.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic expands, it has become apparent that there is a shortage of ventilators,” Sturdevant says. “Our effort seeks to create a backup device that can replace ventilators and that individuals can assemble from readily available components.”

Sturdevant, Kozul, and their team have developed a mechanical bagger which allows a patient to be mechanically ventilated. It uses off the shelf resuscitation bags, which are not in short supply, and commercially available pneumatic components.

In parallel, Will Kaigler, a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University and his team have developed a Personal Negative Pressure Chamber (PNPC) which will capture the aerosolized air exhaled by patients through the bagger. The PNPC will then expel the air out of the building, through a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. The product would act like a negative pressure room. Together, the mechanical bagger and PNPC can safely ventilate a COVID-19 patient.

The team is developing the product as an open source design utilizing readily available materials. Even those without technical knowledge can easily assemble the device for a very modest cost. This will allow hospitals to quickly get new ventilators into the field to begin supporting the needs of their patients. 

The team has done initial simulation tests of the device in partnership with Akron Children’s Hospital and hopes to be able to release the product for public use very shortly.
In addition to Sturdevant, Kozal and Kaigler, the team is made up of Jonathan Staggs (also a CSU alumnus), Joshua Staggs, Tim Staggs and Jim Clerkin who have volunteered their skills to assist in the design, modeling and assembly of the prototype.

Those interested in testing the product or contributing to its development can contact Mike Sturdevant at