Premature babies struggle to breathe because their lungs are immature. CPAP technology (continuous positive airway pressure) helps keep a child's lungs inflated and makes it easier for them to breath, but at $6,000 CPAP machines are too expensive for most hospitals in the developing world.
Doctors at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre, Malawi, challenged students from Rice University's Beyond Traditional Borders program to invent a lower-cost alternative, and the result is a $160 CPAP machine.
Rice 360° Program Associate Jocelyn Brown helped design the bubble CPAP during her senior undergraduate year at Rice in 2010.
One of the keys to making this CPAP bubble machine inexpensively is the use of two aquarium pumps.