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UW-Madison researcher helps bring new face shields to doctors treating COVID-19

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: April 1st, 2020

A researcher at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison has created a new face shield to protect hospital staff who are testing and treating patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lennon Rodgers, director of the Engineering Design Innovation Lab at UW-Madison, was initially approached by the university’s hospital, which needed 1,000 face shields because its usual suppliers were out of stock due to the current crisis. Rodgers tested a few different designs with a small team and eventually developed a prototype, which the hospital approved.

Since then, Rodgers and his team have sent more than 1,000 face shields to the hospital.

The face shield design, known as the Badger Shield, requires just three pieces, is relatively straightforward to make, and is lightweight. Rodgers posted it online for others to use, and now Ford has picked it up, with plans to produce more than 75,000 Badger Shields for Detroit area hospitals.

While a number of engineers and hobbyists have created medical equipment to fill the void left in the wake of the coronavirus, Rodgers is one of the few to take a device into medically approved, mass-scale production.

“We’re filling a niche while the high-volume supply chains have broken down,” says Jesse Darley, a mechanical engineer who is helping Rodgers with the Badger Shield. According to Darley, if other manufacturers like Ford adopt the design, “I think we can ramp up production pretty quickly.”

Source: Wired

Tech Transfer Central is hosting a free emergency webinar, Managing TTO Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Planning for Future Disruptions, scheduled for next Tuesday, April 7th. Join your colleagues in the research commercialization community for information sharing and guidance on how to operate in the current environment during the coronavirus outbreak. For details and to register, click here.

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