UAE researchers develop N95 masks via a 3D printer

N95 respirator

The N95 respirator is a particulate filter respirator that protects the user from inhaling harmful airborne particles. Dust, dirt, bacteria, infectious agents, smoke, and smog are some harmful airborne particles that could be harmful to a person’s health, and the N95 respirator filters it out. The N95 respirator is 95 percent effective at filtering out harmful airborne particles. 

Therefore, N95 respirators are safer than other respirators. The healthcare authorities have said multiple times that the N95 respirator is the safest and the best Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The N95 respirator prevents an individual from contracting viral diseases like COVID-19 and the influenza virus, etc.

United Arab Emirates’ New York University and Mubadala healthcare have developed a face mask that is similar to an N95 respirator, but it is reusable as well. This mask is effective at filtering out airborne particles that pose a threat to an individual’s health. The 3D printing technology has been used to manufacture this reusable face mask. This 3D printed reusable face mask is as effective as the N95 masks.

The design of these 3D printed masks is new, and these masks have got replaceable filters as well, which means that these masks can be cleaned and reused to deal with the shortage of face masks and N95 respirators. The New York University of Abu Dhabi will utilize 3D printing technology to print masks similar to the N95 respirators to cope with the shortage of cloth masks, face masks, and N95 respirators. 

There is a massive demand for N95 respirators around the world. The public needs the N95 respirators to keep themselves safe from COVID-19, but the N95 respirator has been short due to COVID-19. Frontline healthcare workers cannot treat COVID-19 patients unless there are N95 respirators in ample amounts. All of this shortage occurred as a result of the threat of COVID-19 being lethal to the public.

People bought N95 respirators in large amounts, and the people who could not buy it earlier had to use cloth masks that did not guarantee protection against the harmful airborne particles of COVID-19. Therefore, there was a massive requirement for N95 respirators, and 3D printed face masks will deal with that requirement.

Doctors and nurses need N95 respirators to treat COVID-19 patients. If they cannot treat COVID-19 patients, a plethora of deaths will happen. Furthermore, frontline healthcare workers like doctors and nurses can get infected if they do not wear N95 respirators while treating infected patients. Therefore, the availability of N95 respirators is crucial during COVID-19.

Hasan Al Nowais, who is the senior vice president of Mubadala Healthcare, says that Mubadala healthcare has started developing 3D printed reusable face masks because UAE has suffered immensely because of COVID-19. These face masks have been developed, as a result, to assist the UAE government to get rid of COVID-19 and lessen its adverse impact on the economy and situation of the country.

He says that they are working hard to fulfill the requirement of cloth masks in the United Arab Emirates to save lives and assist the government in tackling this fatal pandemic, which is COVID-19. He hopes that after fulfilling the requirements of cloth masks in the UAE, we can help other foreign countries to tackle this lethal pandemic and save the lives of people around the world. 

This 3D printed mask had been designed by the New York University of UAE in less than 48 hours. Soft plastic has been used to manufacture this product, and the main structure of this mask is made up of solid plastic with a disposable filter that is attached to this 3D printed reusable face mask. After using the mask, this 3D printed face mask can be reused by cleaning it minus its filter. The proper way to sterilize this face mask is through the use of chemical treatment, heat, or UVA light.

Dr. Oraib Al Ketan, who is an instrumentation scientist at New York University of Abu Dhabi research, is working on the design of this face mask. Before producing the mask in large amounts, it is crucial to make small adjustments to the design of this mask for efficient performance. A manufacturer has not been selected yet to manufacture these cloth masks.

The cost of this face mask has not been confirmed yet. What is confirmed about the face mask is that the price of this face mask will be inexpensive. This mask can be bought at the cost of around 6 dollars (6$). Another UAE university is planning to manufacture face shields to assist the frontline healthcare workers to keep them safe from infected patients while treating COVID-19.

Inexpensive face shields are sold at the price of 4 dollars (4$), but such face shields do not guarantee protection against COVID-19. However, UAE’s University Science and Innovation Park are planning to manufacture face shields that guarantee protection against harmful airborne particles and are affordable. This university has manufactured its version of face shields that are reusable and can be disposed of after use. 

Conclusion

UAE researchers have developed a face mask through a 3D printer to deal with the shortage of N95 respirators. These masks are as effective as the N95 masks at keeping an individual safe from harmful airborne particles. This mask can be reused. The cost of the face mask will be cheap as well, which provides value for money. 

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