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1000x1000: A cotton-candy (Rotary jet spinning) machine for distributed manufacturing of N95 mask filter material

Why:

The world is under acute shortage of protective gear for healthcare workers and caregivers. This includes masks worn to avoid acquiring or transmitting airborne pathogens like SARS-COV2 virus. These masks are designed to be one-time use and disposable. Due to shortage of supply -  exacerbated by trade restrictions and logistical bottleneck -  short cuts are taken which put health care workers at grave risk.

Project plan:

We are envisioning a 1000x1000 distributed manufacturing solution for N95 masks. Instead of one plant centrally making 1000 N95 masks a day, 1000s of small businesses (2-3 person operation) would be enabled to produce 1000 or more N95 grade masks everyday across the country, meeting a million masks a day target in a distributed fashion.

We are developing a nimble, simple, low cost manufacturing setup that enables: (1) the production of key ingredients in N95 masks for filtering aerosolized viral particles, and (2) integrated quality testing locally. Combined with simple mask design (a simple folding structure), masks can be produced locally (e.g., in a back room in a hospital) while still meet high standards if protocols are followed.

Our goal is to quickly share exact design, protocol and processes for a distributed manufacturing solution for masks to protect health care workers, in a simple instructional format.

Relevant Publications or More Information

• Working draft document from Prakash Lab (including how you can help)

• Prakash Lab website

• Twitter for Prakash Lab

Collaborators:

• Manu Prakash (Bioengineering)