Human Powered Nebulizer

In remote areas and resource-limited settings, clinics may lack expensive, electric nebulizers to induce sputum samples for tuberculosis diagnosis and respiratory treatments.

Human Powered Nebulizer
Human-powered nebulizer.
Status Clinical trial
Made? No
Replicated? No
Designed in United States
Replicated in Africa
South America
Health data
Health topic Tuberculosis
Health classification Diagnosis

We have developed two versions of the Human Powered Nebulizer. One is hand-cranked; the other is pedaled like a bicycle. The health care provider operates the HPN while the patient induces a sputum sample or receives treatment. This technology is inexpensive and portable, putting respiratory treatment and diagnostics in the hands of even the most remote clinics.

Designed byEdit

When and where it was tested/implementedEdit

The first clinical trial was conducted in South African in 2010, in conjunction with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre. Additional clinical and field trials are currently being conducted in Malawi and El Salvador.

Funding SourceEdit

Funding provided by the Marquette University College of Engineering Opus Fund, the Northwestern University Alumnae Foundation, and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (a philanthropic competition). Generous in-kind support has been provided by Particle Technology Labs, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, Cape Town, South Africa and the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.


Peer-reviewed publicationEdit

  • Kranzer K, Olson L, van Shaik N, et al. (2011.) Quality of induced sputum using a human-powered nebuliser in a mobile human immunodeficiency virus testing service in South Africa. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis 15(8):1078-81.

Other internally generated reportsEdit

  • Human Powered Nebulizer Project. (2010.) Human Powered Nebulizer Project NCIIA pitch. Youtube available here.
  • Human Powered Nebulizer Project. (2010.) The HPN in Masiphumelele, South Africa. Youtube available here.


Externally generated reportsEdit

  • National Collegiate Inventor & Innovator Alliance. (2010.) Top 3 March Madness for the Mind videos announced. Link available here.