Under the direction of Dr. Laurencin, graduate students of the CT Convergence Institute, Amir Seyedsalehi and Godwin Dzidotor, are filling the COVID-19 mask void by utilizing cutting edge technology to create custom fit masks for ICU staff at UConn Health. Each student uses their own customization approach which aims to mimic the optimal protective qualities that N95 respirators provide. The prototypes are actively being used at UConn Health as of last Thursday, and final designs will be released to the ICU staff over the coming weeks.
Amir’s custom design is a mask frame (exoskeleton) which is worn on top of the conventional surgical mask to fit the face perfectly and seal from external air with potential virus particles. The frames are custom designed to fit the contour of each individual’s face. This process is achieved beginning with a “mask fitting session” in which the employee gets photos taken of their face, one portrait and one profile. Amir then uploads the images to a facial recognition software which then generates the customized 3D printed model.
Design # 2
Godwin’s design is also a mask frame (exoskeleton) which is worn over the conventional surgical mask. This design sets itself apart in that these are semi-custom fit masks, meant for mass production. Godwin is working on developing a variety of different sizes, such as small, medium, large etc. The idea is to eliminate the one-size-fits-all notion, and create a more customized feel. This prototype process can be compared to distributing clothing in a department store.
Both designs have patents in process and plans for mass production. The tangible 3D creations are made possible thanks to a machine shop at the UConn School of Engineering.
On behalf of the Connecticut Convergence Institute, we would like to thank all of our fellow healthcare professionals who are working around the clock to help keep our community safe.