Francesco Scaffidi-Argentina and Antonio Piscia have delivered the 3D printed valves to the Varese hospital ©European Union, 2020

EU Joint Research Center 3D-printed valve for emergency ventilator masks

A technician working at the JRC’s technical workshop is using a 3D-printer to produce valves for emergency ventilator masks for use at a local Italian hospital.

Antonio Piscia has worked at the JRC’s central workshop in Ispra for over 15 years. His task is to produce ad hoc, made-to-measure mechanical pieces to support JRC laboratories, at the request of the scientists.

Due to the Covid-19 crisis, most JRC laboratories are closed and the scientists are working from home. There is not much demand for new laboratory parts right now.

But this does not mean that Antonio will stand idle.

We visited the JRC workshop and found Antonio busy packaging the respiratory valves he had created with the JRC’s 3D printer.

“Last week I produced a prototype of the valve and it was taken to Ospedale di Circolo in Varese for testing and acceptance. This week, I have produced more valves, and they will now be taken to the hospitals in Varese”, Antonio explains.

The valves can be used in the emergency ventilator masks, which were developed by the Italian company Isinnova by converting snorkelling masks.

The workshop is also exploring methods for testing the quality and air tightness of other valves that are being offered to healthcare institutions.

“JRC researchers are working on many aspects linked to the Covid-19 crisis. For our part at the JRC’s technical and support services, we are happy to be able to help the local communities and health services in any possible way”, commented Francesco Scaffidi-Argentina, Head for the JRC Ispra Logistics Unit.

On 15 April, Francesco delivered in person 22 valves to Chief Medical Officer Lorenzo Maffioli and Operations Manager Giovanni Poggialini at the Varese hospital.

JRC Ispra solidarity

Various different services of the JRC have made spontaneous efforts to support the local services.

Over the past couple of weeks, the JRC’s medical service has donated personal protective equipment to Varese hospitals and the Sacra Famiglia care home in Cocquio Trevisago.

The JRC Cultural Committee will be donating its 2020 membership fees to Ospedale di Circolo di Varese and the Finnish cultural semester at JRC Ispra donated its remaining budget – 1700€  collected during last year’s Finnish cultural events – to ASST dei Sette Laghi.

The JRC has also donated 50 personal computers to TEDxVarese in support of the digital solidarity initiative for Varese, which aims to reduce the cultural, social and economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis by facilitating distance-learning activities.

“The JRC hosts researchers from all over Europe and beyond. We use and depend on the local services in our daily lives. We want to show to our host country Italy, the local communities and our fellow European citizens that we care and that we will support them any way we can”, concludes Ispra Site Manager Rien Stroosnijder.

Antonio has worked over 15 years at the JRC’s technical workshop which produces parts for JRC laboratories ©European Union, 2020

Other JRC Sites in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have made similar donations to their local communities and health services.

Source: EU Science Hub | under CC By 4.0 licence 


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