Minimally Invasive Surgery and Interventional Techniques
Department of Biomechanical Engineering - Delft University of Technology
Prof.dr. Jenny Dankelman
Evaluation of ventilation of neonates in low resource settings
23 July 2019

Evaluation of ventilation of neonates in low resource settings

World-wide almost 6 million children die annually before the age of five years with more than 40% of these deaths occurring in the neonatal period. Approximately 50% of these deaths occur in Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA). Respiratory failure is also a common feature of critically ill children with severe sepsis and other critical conditions. Newborn deaths are often associated with respiratory dysfunction.     

Improvement of oxygen delivery and respiratory support plays an important role in this context. To provide supplemental oxygen in many resource limited settings is still a major challenge]. The set-up of reliable O2- systems based on the installation of O2- concentrators is cost-effective and can have a considerable impact on the outcome of children with respiratory dysfunction. The combination of solar powered energy systems and the use of oxygen concentrators can be an option to improve oxygen supply in health facilities in remote settings[ Portable oxygen concentrators can provide O2 during transfer.


The objectives of this medical engineering study are

  • Evaluation of essential aspects of a medical device used to provide non- invasive respiratory support for critically ill children in low- resource settings.

  • The study can help to describe the “optimal specifications/ features” of a bubble CPAP set-up in newborns and children.

    • Flow generator, pressure setttings and control. Adaptation of O2 concentration of the used air/oxygen flow.

    • Tubing and interfaces

    • Humidification and heating

  • The results of this study can provide important information to improve non- invasive respiratory support for newborns and older children treated in low resource settings  

The master student will be supported by an enthusiastic medical/engineering team. A paediatrician with many years of experience in critical care in low- resource settings (e.g. mainly in Sub- Sahara Africa, but also some experience in Afghanistan) will support the engineering team. They will be able to consult highly qualified colleagues with expertise in respiratory support of critically ill children.

Robert Neighboer Diamedica

Hans-Jorg Lang MSF/Doctors without borders

Contact: prof. dr. J. Dankelman,


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