Disposable Helmet Retains Cough Droplets, Minimizes Transmission to Dentists, Otolaryngologists

Dentists and otolaryngologists are at particular risk of infection of COVID-19, since they need direct access to the mouth, nose, and throat of patients. The current solutions are expensive, not highly effective, and not very accessible. In Physics of Fluids, researchers discuss their design of an open-faced helmet for patient use that is connected to a medical-grade air filtration pump from the top that creates a reverse flow of air to prevent cough droplets from exiting the helmet.

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Face Shields No Match for Sneeze Vortex Rings

Do face shields provide enough protection to the wearers against COVID-19 if they don’t also wear a mask? No. But researchers in Japan are working to create face shields safe enough to be worn alone. In Physics of Fluids, Fujio Akagi and colleagues describe their work to gain a better understanding of what happens to the airflow around a face shield when someone nearby sneezes.

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Seeking the Most Effective Polymers for Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment, like face masks and gowns, is generally made of polymers. But not much attention is typically given to the selection of polymers used beyond their physical properties. To help with the identification of materials that will bind to a virus and speed its inactivation for use in PPE, researchers have developed a high-throughput approach for analyzing the interactions between materials and viruslike particles. They report their method in the journal Biointerphases.

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Plant-Based Spray Could be Used in N95 Masks and Energy Devices

Engineers have invented a way to spray extremely thin wires made of a plant-based material that could be used in N95 mask filters, devices that harvest energy for electricity, and potentially the creation of human organs. The method involves spraying methylcellulose, a renewable plastic material derived from plant cellulose, on 3D-printed and other objects ranging from electronics to plants, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Materials Horizons.

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American Academy of Dermatology honors Detroit physician Iltefat H. Hamzavi with national “Patient Care Hero” award

The American Academy of Dermatology has named board-certified dermatologist Iltefat H. Hamzavi, MD, FAAD, a Patient Care Hero for his innovative use of light therapy to sanitize masks needed by frontline health care workers.

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FDA Guidance Fails to Ensure Security of 3D-Printed Masks and PPE

New Brunswick, N.J. (Sept. 16, 2020) – FDA guidelines for making 3D-printed masks, face shields and other personal protective equipment

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It Takes More than Plexiglass to Protect Against Aerosolized SARS-CoV-2

The FDA just revoked their EUA for intubation boxes – plastic shields that supposedly protect health care workers from becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 – due to concerns over aerosol leaks. This study describes a better box, with negative pressure and filtration, that contains airborne virus.

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Masks, PPE Materials Should Be Hydrophilic

Since the COVID-19 virus spreads through respiratory droplets, researchers in India set out to explore how droplets deposited on face masks or frequently touched surfaces dry. Droplets can be expelled via the mouth or nose and studies have shown a substantially reduced chance of infection once they dry. In Physics of Fluids, the researchers publish their findings that surface wetting properties to reduce the drying time of droplets could help lessen the risk of infection from coronaviruses.

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Researchers Create Mask Filtration Effectiveness Hierarchy

Infection prevention experts at the UNC Medical Center set out to gather evidence on the fitted filtration efficiency of dozens of different types of masks and mask modifications, including masks sterilized for reuse, expired masks, novel masks sourced from domestic and overseas sources, and homemade masks.

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Helping protect medical professionals

A media comprised of a sandwich of materials, tested by Sandia National Laboratories, is being manufactured into N95-like respirators that could be used in local medical facilities. The project originated from the urgent need for personal protective equipment when the COVID-19 outbreak began.

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