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University space scientists sign international COVID-19 ventilator agreement

Space scientists at The University of Aberdeen are working with a Rwandan medical device company to help treat COVID-19 patients in the region.

By: Jeevan Bains

The ATMO-ventilator in development at the University of Aberdeen. Picture courtesy of UoA

The University’s Planetary Sciences Group is currently working with the Medical Technology Company (MTC) to provide Rwanda and neighbouring countries with the ‘ATMO-Vent’ (Atmospheric Mixture Optimization Ventilator) in response to the global pressures on ventilation resources during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A University spokesperson explained that the device, which uses commercially low-cost components, is “quicker to build, more cost-effective and more user-friendly than any other model currently in development”.

The leader of the Planetary Sciences Group Professor Javier Martin-Torres said that the group is “very excited to see that the University has signed this agreement with MTC Ltd to develop the ATMO-Vent in Rwanda” and continued to say that the ventilator was designed "in response to worldwide efforts to produce more ventilators for Covid-19 patients”.

Martin-Torres hopes that eventually, MTD Ltd can be completely independent in its production of the device.

This year the University rose 2 places for Research Intensity since last year in the Complete University Guide league table.

The Vice-Principal for Research at the University of Aberdeen, Professor Marion Campbell, explained the importance of international scientific collaboration in the face of global challenges and said: “This agreement came about through the active links between the School of Geosciences and the University of Rwanda” and highlighted that the research community “is working as part of a broad effort to harness our world-renowned academic expertise in the fight against Covid-19” as well as this work being a “prime example” of how UoA researchers are applying their skills to meet the challenges created by the pandemic.