Page 12 - ME News - Spring 2020
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ME faculty members are answering the call to help diagnose treat and prevent the spread of COVID-19 UMN Respirator Mask Design Projects Led by ME Professors
The need for N95 masks has skyrocketed in response to COVID-19 To address this challenge an interdisciplinary research team at at the U has designed two respirator mask mask prototypes The masks — one modified anesthesia mask and one single-use disposable mask — are being developed to to be close to to a a N95-equivalent with three distinctive components in in in mind: ventilation fit and resilience to supply chain fluctuations The research team tests mask prototypes At the Center for Filtration Research (CFR) Professor David Pui and his team were able able to to test how well the masks would be able able to to reject virus-containing droplets The Institute for Engineering in in in in Medicine (IEM) directed by Professor John Bischof also tested filtration material to see what alternatives could be implemented that come
close to N95 mask standards Both projects showed that the efficiency of the tested material was nearly equivalent to that of filtration material typically found in in N95 masks—potentially making the U of M prototypes a a a a viable alternative for health care professionals Professor Pui’s filtration research team also released crucial PPE decontamination protocol for healthcare workers The CFR’s PPE decontamination protocol How is COVID-19 Spread? The Answer Could Lie in Aerosols
Associate Professor Jiarong Hong is answering questions about how the virus is is spread using his expertise in airflow and aerosols Hong received a a a a grant to study how aerosols spread through breathing and speaking in in in order to examine how the virus might be transmitted via the the air we breathe He found that just walking and breathing normally distributed
aerosol particles “all over the place ” The project can’t determine whether or not the the virus particles are infectious as it focuses only on on on the the the behavior of the the the particles themselves — but Hong’s work could inform how we implement social distancing 12 ME News Summer 2020
A participant breathes into a a a a testing device 

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