WoundVARduino is a project aimed at providing inexpensive wound care options to hospitals and patients in the developing world. Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is a ubiquitous essential technology in the developed world but is relatively unavailable for underdeveloped places. I am a certified wound specialist who has been working in a developing country and have begun developing an alternative to NPWT devices currently available on the market. The need for a better marriage of wound care and technology is being met in developed countries by companies like KCI but due to the cost of their equipment these options are unavailable less developed countries. The need for better wound therapy is being addressed on multiple fronts including work by MIT. WoundVARduino is the first device to be able to set and maintain pressures developed for low income hospitals and environments. If you're interested in more information on NPWT and it's recommended uses this article by Andros et al is an excellent resource.
This project works by utilizing a vacuum pump attached to a container where the negative pressure is monitored by the sensor. The circuit is able to be powered by a 12V computer charger but also has a 12V lead acid battery to enable it to be portable for patients to take the device home with them. Most of this circuit design is for the battery charger which has an automatic shut-off feature that can be set when the battery is fully charged. This function is set by simply connecting a fully charged battery to the circuit and turning the trimpot until the red LED turns on. This will set the appropriate resistance level for the current to stop flowing through the battery.
An air tight jar can be used as a collection container. Three holes will need to be drilled in the top of the jar and sterile tubing inserted. Tube 1 will go to the sensor, tube 2 to the pump, and tube 3 to the patients air tight wound dressing. This is a good video on basic NPWT dressing application. Plastic wrap can be used for legs, feet, and arms. OpSite is more suitable to non-round structures of the thorax. A sterile sponge is needed as well. We autoclave regular store bought sponges but a hydrophobic sponge would work better. All of the tubing will need to be discarded after a patient is done using the device and new sterile tubing used for new patients.