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Researchers Design Better-Fitting N-95 Masks for Healthcare Providers

Photo: Mika Baumeister @mbaumi
Photo: Mika Baumeister @mbaumi

The University of Central Florida and Orlando Health have teamed up to design more form-fitting N-95 masks.

The N-95 masks which were designed using 3D scans of Orlando Health workers provide a tighter fit for any shape or size face.

UCF Institute for Simulation and Training's Jack Stubbs says that’s crucial as viruses are only 20 nanometers in size.

“If you have a mask that has any small gap, hole, break in the seal, you’re going to get air through it and not through the filter which means you could be sucking in bacteria and virus if there's not a good seal.”

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The frame of the mask is plastic with two layers of HEPA filter, and two layers of surgical instrument wrapping over it.

Orlando Health’s Michael Schmidt says if the design is approved by the FDA, anyone with a 3D printer will be able to replicate them.

“Our hope is that this could be used in any hospital setting to make a piece of the PPE that a clinician would wear.”

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Schmidt says they’re also working with UCF to custom design masks for individual providers.
If you'd like to listen to the story, click on the clips above.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.
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