Alternative Components Useful for Ventilator Design -

Alternative Components Useful for Ventilator Design

Can this alternative approach help meet increased demand?

As COVID-19 creates the need for hundreds of thousands of ventilators, finding alternative systems for ventilators could help by using different components and resources that are still available. Thousands of engineers, scientists and others are collectively working to find new approaches to the shortage. 

The technical team at Equilibar is working in our lab to determine if we can develop alternative ventilator component designs to enable other innovators. We are working with several partners around the world to determine the best way we can contribute. The ideas presented in this section are currently being tested in designs of ventilators by companies seeking emergency use authorization during the COVID-19 crisis. *

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Defined Pressure System

An alternative approach to the mechanically compressed volume system is a defined pressure system. In this approach, an ultra- sensitive dome-loaded back pressure regulator (BPR) can be used to provide highly controlled pressure setpoints. Dome-loaded means that gas or air is fed into the top (dome) of the regulator to provide the pressure setpoint. This dome setpoint is supplied from a secondary pressure regulator called a pilot regulator.

The Equilibar RV Series BPRs (see images at right) are highly sensitive pilot operated air pressure control valves designed to deliver accurate pressures in the range of 2 to 66 cmH2O with gas flow rates between 1 and 200 liter/minute. The RV valves are not FDA approved for medical use. However, they are suitable for testing and validation of systems requiring highly precise control of air and oxygen-enriched air pressure control.

For this specific application, Equilibar engineers designed robust pilot regulators, RVP pilot regulators, for controlling the dome setpoint pressure of an RV series control valve. The RVP-L is for regulating lower pressures in the range of PEEP pressures (4 – 25 mbar /1.6 – 10 inH2O) and the RVP-H is for regulating higher pressures in the range of PIP pressures (40 – 70 mbar /3.6 – 28 inH2O).

Additionally, Equilibar engineers have designed a gravity-weighted safety relief valve (RV-SRV) to be used in the low pressure systems where RV series control valves are used.

Below is a schematic of how these components may be used in a subsystem for evaluation in ventilator designs. Supply gas to the ventilator would also serve as the dome gas supply to the RVP pilot regulators. The two on/off solenoid valves would be computer controlled to provide signals for when and how long the PIP and PEEP pressure setpoints would be “on”. The pressure setpoints for the PIP inhalation and the PEEP exhalation would be controlled by the paired RV/RVP regulators.

RV components in subsystem for ventilators

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*Equilibar control valves have historically not been for use in commercial ventilator systems. In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, Equilibar has retrofitted its valves for potential use in connection with medical ventilator systems. While our valves are not approved for any medical use by the FDA or any other governmental agency, Equilibar plans to produce these valves in volume and offer the valves, with affordability in mind to the extent possible, to businesses or governments who are actively seeking or agree to seek qualifying approval for the sale or distribution of integrated systems for use within a medical setting from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) or other similar governing agency in local jurisdiction. Your agreement to any terms of sale with respect to our valves asserts that you are a technically competent entity capable of evaluating system risk and seeking Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA or other similar governing agency in local jurisdiction.

All rights to use our valves shall be effective from the date we provide the valves to you until such time as we notify you that your use must end which reasons may include, without limitation, end of the existing pandemic or recalls for safety reasons.

Use of our valves and/or drawings shall be solely as provided for in a legal agreement with you which will include, in part that any sale is (i) not and does not represent medical or legal advice by Equilibar, (ii) is not approved or available as alternative to an FDA approved ventilator and (ii) AS IS, WHERE IS, AND WITH ALL FAULTS’’. If you do not agree with any of the foregoing do not purchase or use any of our valves for use other than as originally intended (i.e. commercial ventilator systems).

Related Products*

Oblique view of ultra-sensitive dome-loaded back pressure regulator

Ultra-sensitive dome-loaded back pressure regulator RV-22

RV-19 sensitive dome-loaded BPR Oblique image

Ultra-sensitive dome-loaded back pressure regulator RV-19

image of RVP=H and RVP-L pilot valves for Equilibar RV-22 ventilator valves

RVP-L and RVP-H knob adjust pilot regulators

RV-SRV gravity weighted safety relief valve

RV-SRV gravity weighted safety relief valve


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