MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — To address the growing need for N95 masks in the state, a research team at the University of Minnesota has developed a new mask from filter technology.
Cummins, an Indiana-based company which makes engine and power products, donated filter material to the cause. Bedford Industries donated bendable parts to make the masks.
The research team developed two types of masks: one modified anesthesia mask and one single-use, disposable mask. They are both being developed to be similar to an N95 in fit, resilience, and ventilation capabilities.
The idea for the masks was partially inspired by a YouTube video posted by the Boston Children’s hospital.
After creating the masks, David Pui at the Center For Filtration Research Consortium assessed them and determined the Cummins material was nearly equivalent to that of filtration material typically found in N95 masks.
One of the key differences in the masks is in the sizing and fit. Linsey Griffin, a professor in the College of Design said, “The measurements and proportions of our body are unique to us as individuals, so anytime you make a product for a wide variety of faces, you have to be cognizant of a lot of adjustability features.”
These masks, according to Griffin, should eliminate the amount of gaps the particles can pass through by creating a proper seal against the wearer’s face.
The next step for these mask is to create a production chain, which will start with a small group of College of Design students. After that, the university will deliver the masks to local hospitals.
“We want physicians, nurses, and any health care workers to have the confidence that what they are wearing is going to protect them,” said Griffin.