TAU Students Engineer Novel Corona Ventilators

Israel’s Health Ministry has approved a disposable prototype in a pilot study
05 May 2020

Stav Bar-Sheshet, a doctoral student at Tel Aviv University's Fleischman Faculty of Engineering, is helping to develop an inexpensive disposable ventilator tailored to COVID-19 patients. Bar-Sheshet is working with COVID-19 Sprint, a technology task force led by Assuta Ashdod Hospital, Rafael Advanced Technology and Weizmann Institute of Science.


The ventilator, called MANSHEMA, is cheap, suitable for mass production, and easy to use. What's more, Israel's Health Ministry recently approved the use of its prototype in a pilot study.


"Around the world, hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients have been experiencing a shortage of ventilators," explains Bar-Sheshet. ​"This is a serious crisis, which requires creative and revolutionary thinking, thinking that will result in efficient, fast and cheap solutions."


The idea behind MANSHEMA, he says, is to produce an economical ventilator from existing parts that are widely available. The aspect of MANSHEMA that's most critical for the novel coronavirus is that it's thrown away after each use, drastically reducing the risk of infection among medical staff and hospital patients.


MANSHEMA is a flow-driven, electronically controlled system that allows the patient to determine his or her own respiratory rate and to alert of malfunctions and respiratory failures. The system is noninvasive and particularly suited to low-to-moderate risk patients.


Bar-Sheshet added that his team has created a few prototypes which were tested by medical staff at Assuta Ashdod Hospital. Having met international requirements and with the approval of the Health Ministry, the team is proceeding to a clinical trial on patients with respiratory problems and COVID-19.



International Students Help Engineer “Do-It-Yourself” Ventilator

In a similar initiative, a group of TAU International students have joined an Israeli project called Ambovent, dedicated to creating easy-to-build ventilators.


​​Ambovent, the brainchild of a group of Israeli engineers, is developing a prototype of a ventilator composed of ambo-bags and printable parts. ​They use these inexpensive and widely available components so that hospitals and other organizations can build them quickly and easily, which is critical in light of the global shortage.​



TAU students meet an Ambovent engineer via Zoom


The Ambovent team sent out a call for help to engineers from around the world. Within 48 hours, dozens of TAU International engineering students, who are networked in many countries and speak different languages, heeded the call. Some of them have already joined Ambovent working groups. In doing so, they will have the opportunity to influence an important invention, while working alongside some of Israel’s top innovators.



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