Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Omaha company to manufacture respirator mask designed at U of Nebraska Medical Center


By David Schwartz
Published: May 19th, 2020

A mask designed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) has been picked up by an Omaha company to address hospital needs during the COVID-19 crisis.

Created by UNMC researcher Steven Lisco, the Infectious Aerosol Capture Mask has been adopted by the university’s operating and recovery rooms, where surgical teams are often exposed to air contaminants from coughing patients.

“We’re trying to reduce the environmental bioaerosols to the lowest level possible to reduce the risk to the provider,” Lisco says.

Lisco used common hospital equipment to build the mask — a face tent, viral filter and wall-mounted suction source. Nicolas Markin, another UNMC doctor, used a 3D printer to make a fitting to attach the suction tubing to the vacuum. In lab tests, the mask caught over 90% of airborne particles it was exposed to.

Omaha Custom Manufacturing is now creating a mold so that the fitting can be produced more efficiently, with the goal of eventually creating a prototype for the entire mask.

“They’re basically doing this for us on a hope and a prayer,” says Tyler Scherr, licensing agent at UNMC’s tech transfer arm UNeMed. “They saw the need and are investing to make these devices available to help protect all health care workers.”

Several hospitals have already inquired about the mask, and the U.S. Air Force is examining the device’s ability to protect flight crews transporting COVID-19 patients. It also has applications in emergency rooms and at testing sites, where people wait in close proximity for the results of their COVID-19 tests. Source: https://journalstar.com/news/local/omaha-company-creating-prototype-of-mask-created-at-unmc-to-protect-health-care-providers/article_6321f3ab-0d14-571f-8b4b-25f0795e1264.html

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