National Institutes of Health reviews mask developed at YSU

Coronavirus

The 3-D printed device was developed by a team of faculty that worked with doctors and nurses at Mercy Health

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A mask that could help in the fight against the coronavirus was developed at Youngstown State University and is now being reviewed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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The 3-D printed device was developed by a team of faculty that worked with doctors and nurses at Mercy Health.

The filtration cartridge is key to the device. It includes a reusable, adaptable filter that can be attached to other protective masks used in healthcare settings.

“The project addresses the need by doctors, nurses and other frontline medical providers for a readily-available substitute for N95 face masks during the pandemic,” said Darrell Wallace, YSU professor and program coordinator for Manufacturing Engineering.

The mask design was the work of Wallace and Brian Vuksanovich, YSU Associate professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology, and was submitted for review to NIH through Youngstown-based America Makes, an additive manufacturing and 3-D printing facility.

If approved, manufacturers would be able to start mass producing the respirators.

“The design that we’ve come up with, if it were to be approved, manufacturers could make molds for this in about a day. We designed it to be very fast produced and with that mold, then they would be able to make thousands of this,” said Dr. Wallace.

Dr. Wallace said they do not know how long it will take to be approved by the NIH.

The work was funded through a $2.5 million endowment from Morris and Phyllis Friedman through the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

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