MIT Student Invents $3 Negative Pressure Pump for Impoverished Countries

A negative pressure pump is a wound therapy device common to nations with advanced medical care. They normally cost $100 a day to rent, which is far too expensive for many patients and hospitals in developing nations. MIT student Danielle Zurovcik invented one that costs a total $3 and can be powered with only 14 microwatts:

But Zurovcik, inspired by a burn surgeon's plea, went a step further, designing a human-powered device that applies pressure via a simple bellows pump weighing less than half a pound. By improving the seal around the wound dressing to reduce air leaks, Zurovcik cut the pump's power requirements from about 14 watts to 80 microwatts, which comes from a hand pump.

"To basically take a toilet plunger and produce negative pressure over a prolonged period of time, that is really great," says Kristian Olson, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, who was not involved in the project. "Not only do I see it answering this need in developing countries, I think it could really enhance home therapy for chronic wounds in the U.S."


The device is now in use in Haiti.

Link via Popular Science | Photo: Danielle Zurovcik

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It's more about the sheer depravity of RENTING a simple device for a HUNDRED DOLLARS A DAY, than the pioneering DIY spirit...surely no one in this country will ever be given the option to choose the plunger version.
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