Multidisciplinary Development of a Low-Cost Gastroschisis Silo for Use in Sub-Saharan Africa.
BACKGROUND: Gastroschisis silos are often unavailable in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), contributing to high mortality. We describe a collaboration between engineers and surgeons in the United States and Uganda to develop a silo from locally available materials. METHODS: Design criteria included the following: < $5 cost, 5 ± 0.25 cm opening diameter, deformability of the opening construct, ≥ 500 mL volume, ≥ 30 N tensile strength, no statistical difference in the leakage rate between the low-cost silo and preformed silo, ease of manufacturing, and reusability. Pugh scoring matrices were used to assess designs. Materials considered included the following: urine collection bags, intravenous bags, or zipper storage bags for the silo and female condom rings or O-rings for the silo opening construct. Silos were assembled with clothing irons and sewn with thread. Colleagues in Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, and Kenya investigated material cost and availability. RESULTS: Urine collection bags and female condom rings were chosen as the most accessible materials. Silos were estimated to cost < $1 in SSA. Silos yielded a diameter of 5.01 ± 0.11 cm and a volume of 675 ± 7 mL. The iron + sewn seal, sewn seal, and ironed seal on the silos yielded tensile strengths of 31.1 ± 5.3 N, 30.1 ± 2.9 N, and 14.7 ± 2.4 N, respectively, compared with the seal of the current standard-of-care silo of 41.8 ± 6.1 N. The low-cost silos had comparable leakage rates along the opening and along the seal with the spring-loaded preformed silo. The silos were easily constructed by biomedical engineering students within 15 min. All silos were able to be sterilized by submersion. CONCLUSIONS: A low-cost gastroschisis silo was constructed from materials locally available in SSA. Further in vivo and clinical studies are needed to determine if mortality can be improved with this design.
Arivoli, Muthukurisil, Arushi Biswas, Nolan Burroughs, Patrick Wilson, Caroline Salzman, Nasser Kakembo, Julius Mugaga, Robert T. Ssekitoleko, Ann Saterbak, and Tamara N. Fitzgerald. “Multidisciplinary Development of a Low-Cost Gastroschisis Silo for Use in Sub-Saharan Africa.” J Surg Res 255 (November 2020): 565–74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2020.05.037.