Head of Prototyping Department Centre in Pilsen, AKKA Czech Republic
In collaboration with the University of West Bohemia (UWB) in Pilsen, AKKA Czech Republic donated 40 special 3D printed holders to the University Hospital Pilsen. These holders are currently being used to transport a new COVID-19 vaccine to vaccination centers within the Pilsen Region.
The new COVID-19 vaccine requires specific handling as it must be stored at a very low temperature of -72 ° C. It is essential to thaw vaccines before use and at this stage, they can only be stored for five days at 2-8 ° C. In addition, the vaccine is stored in small 3×2 cm vials (medical bottles). Although they should be kept in a vertical position throughout the entire time before use, the vials lack stability during handling, which is why the new holders are necessary.
The solution came from the Center for Informatization and Computer Science of the University of West Bohemia, where the IoT laboratory staff created a model of special holders which are produced by a 3D printer using the FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) method with a fiber thickness of 0.17 mm. The designed holder accommodates 49 vials (294 doses of vaccines), keeps those vials in the required position and thus allows easier handling, administration, storage and effectively prevents deterioration.
“Thanks to its flexibility, speed and repeatability, 3D printing is the ideal solution for production of such items and in such quantities. And with CAD software, it takes only a few hours to print the final product from a finished design. The holders are made of thermoplastic ABS-M30 (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), which is particularly characterized by high strength. At the same time, this material is light and durable, so it combines utility and economy” explains Štefan Bárta, Head of Prototyping Department Centre in Pilsen, AKKA Czech Republic.
Currently, the hospital is using new holders mainly for transport of vaccines to individual vaccination centers in the Pilsen Region. University Hospital Pilsen is the only distribution vaccination point in the region. The vaccine is distributed to other vaccination points according to instructions of the Regional medical coordinator. In total, University Hospital Pilsen has already dispensed over 26,000 ampoules in the Pilsen Region, i.e. more than 150,000 doses of the vaccine. Undoubtedly, these special holders helped significantly, as thanks to their usage, the number of required pieces is easily calculated, the ampoules are kept in the prescribed position and holders effectively prevent the deterioration of the vaccine.
“Firstly, we dedicated special holders to the vaccination center at the Rokycany Hospital, where the product proved its value, and subsequently the University Hospital Pilsen also showed interest. We were offered help with production by Stod primary school and kindergarten, where thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Mr. Terč´s ICT methodology, 26 holders were printed. Furthermore, additional support was provided by AKKA Czech Republic, thanks to which the University Hospital acquired another 40 holders, “said Pavel Vondruška from the UWB Center for Informatization and Computer Science.
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