Rebecca K. S. Nansubuga
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Name Rebecca K. S. Nansubuga
Nationality Ugandan
Skills CAD modelling, 3D printing, Microsoft Office
Interests Rebecca is passionate about using principles of frugal engineering to make sustainable solutions to improve health care delivery in resource-limited settings through CAD modelling, 3D printing, and Product design and development.
Links [Linked In: Linked In:]
Registered 2024
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Rebecca Kaaya Nansubuga received her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Makerere University. She is currently working as a Teaching Assistant and student mentor, as well as a Junior Research Fellow on the KeyScope project: The Key to Sustainable Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Uganda, all under the Biomedical Engineering Unit of Makerere University.

Rebecca is greatly interested in using Design Engineering principles and tools to sustainably develop affordable medical device innovations for Uganda’s healthcare sector.

Research participated in[edit | edit source]

I have participated as a volunteer on a number of research projects, including the low-cost gastroschisis silo bag project, the KeyScope project, which are being done through the Duke-Makerere University collaboration. I have also volunteered on a slide smear project and notably the Surgical Fracture Table Project, which is being done in partnership with Western University in Canada.

  1. Developing a low-cost silo bag to improve gastroschisis management in Uganda[1]. This is because up to 98% of the babies in Uganda and other resource-limited settings die due to this condition, yet it is the reverse in high-income countries, due to limited skilled labour in gastroschisis surgery and expensive standard of care silo bags. We repurposed urine bags and included a flexible rubber o-ring to make a silo bag for managing gastroschisis.
  2. The KeyScope project aims to increase access to laparoscopic surgery in Uganda and other resource-constrained settings. This is because these settings usually have power outages, can't afford to restock consumables, and usually have no spare parts or skilled personnel to repair the standard of care laparoscopic towers[2]. On this project, we developed the KeyScope[3] (a single unit laparoscope that uses a CMOS camera and not fibre optic cables, which are fragile), the KeyLoop (a mechanical retractor to remove the need for the use of medical-grade carbon dioxide, which is expensive and not readily available), and the KeyStand which is a back-supported stand to stabilize the KeyLoop during the abdominal wall retraction.
  3. The mechanical slide smear project was inspired by the number of slides that go bad each day due to the manual hand method of preparing slides, where one person tires from making multiple slides and there is no standardization of the slides being prepared due to human error.
  4. The Surgical Fracture Table Project is an open-source project[4]. We are making reduced-cost surgical fracture operation tables using locally available materials in Uganda while also employing 3D printing where necessary, to increase access to surgical fracture surgeries in resource-limited environments.
  1. Arivoli, M., Biswas, A., Burroughs, N., Wilson, P., Salzman, C., Kakembo, N., ... & Fitzgerald, T. N. (2020). Multidisciplinary development of a low-cost gastroschisis silo for use in Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Surgical Research, 255, 565-574.
  2. Farrow, N. E., Commander, S. J., Reed, C. R., Mueller, J. L., Gupta, A., Loh, A. H., ... & Fitzgerald, T. N. (2021). Laparoscopic experience and attitudes toward a low-cost laparoscopic system among surgeons in East, Central, and Southern Africa: a survey study. Surgical Endoscopy, 35, 6539-6548.
  3. Mueller, J. L., Rozman, N., Sunassee, E. D., Gupta, A., Schuval, C., Biswas, A., ... & Fitzgerald, T. N. (2021). An accessible laparoscope for surgery in low-and middle-income countries. Annals of biomedical engineering, 49, 1657-1669.
  4. Bow, J. K., Gallup, N., Sadat, S. A., & Pearce, J. M. (2022). Open source surgical fracture table for digitally distributed manufacturing. PloS one, 17(7), e0270328.
The Surgical Fracture Table.
Making a reduced-cost gasless laparoscopic unit.
The gastroschisis project for repurposing urine bags to save babies at birth.
Making a mechanical slide smear to away with human error.

Interests[edit | edit source]

She is also interested in product development using skills like computer-aided modelling and design and using the 3D printer, especially for making medical device parts.

Product Design and Development
Developing virtual models using computer software
3D printing
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