COMBATING RIVER BLINDNESS WITH 3D PRINTING

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COMBATING RIVER BLINDNESS WITH 3D PRINTING

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This 3D Printed trap is based on intensive research and designed specifically to trap black flies that transmit River Blindness. 

About 37 million people are infected with River Blindness (Onchocerciasis); about 300,000 of those had been permanently blinded. River Blindness is transmitted to humans by the bite of the black fly infected with the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus. The black fly flourishes in impoverished, tropical areas where flies contribute to poor sanitary conditions. This portable personal black fly trap aims at decreasing black flies from inhabiting a person’s living area (i.e., sleeping or cooking areas) by trapping the flies through a novel approach. After flies are trapped, the trap has a self-locking property thereby becoming a self-contained sealed unit, safe to handle and either dispose of or recycle, or can be emptied and reused, or it can collect black flies for epidemiologically data. This method is inexpensive, non-toxic, requires no power and is made of biodegradable material. Trapping and eliminating one female black fly can prevent hundreds of black fly eggs from being produced.

Currently there are two work-in-progress designs; The first is the standard stand-alone cylinder design; the second design is egg-shaped that wobbles when tipped but cannot fall over.

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Related Information:

The World Health Organization's Info on River Blindness:  http://www.who.int/blindness/partnerships/onchocerciasis_disease_information/en/

View a River Blindness documentary trailer "Dark Forest Black Fly" at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVYvwE94w7c