A Human Powered Nebulizer

Dr. Lars Olson

Dr. Lars Olson, Interim Director of the Marquette University and Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been working for the past decade to develop a human powered nebulizer (HPN) for use in impoverished countries where electricity is unreliable.

In global health, it is often difficult to provide basic healthcare services in developing countries because of the lack of reliable and consistent clean water and electricity. These challenges are particularly life threatening to those with lung diseases such as asthma and COPD, as well as those infected with TB and HIV, which is why 3 of the 10 most prevalent causes of mortality in the world are lung related, killing 8 million people per year.

Dr. Olson began working on the human-powered nebulizer, which converts liquid medicine into a mist that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs, after going on missions to Central America during high school, where he identified this critical need. The HPN is already in use in Guatemala and El Salvador, and fundraising is ongoing to generate the investment needed for manufacture of the product on a larger scale. The goal is to expand to Africa next, to provide the device for those suffering from TB and HIV.

As he continues work on the HPN, Dr. Olson is already hard at work on his next project, which is the development of an infrared light treatment for peripheral artery disease.


Read other stories like this one from the Marquette University and Medical College of Wisconsin Biomedical Engineering Department.

Dr. Lars Olson in an MCW Marquette biomedical engineering lab

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