COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Fearing a shortage of personal protective equipment as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, researchers at Texas A&M University have detailed methods for producing do-it-yourself protective masks.
The masks are intended to be used by health care professionals in worst-case shortage scenarios and use everyday materials such as air-conditioning filers, sheer curtains, staples, and stretchable cords.
“If the gap between supply and demand continues to worsen, and particularly our emergency medical colleagues are forced to use do-it-yourself masks, we want them to have technical guidance as they make their choices of materials and construction,” said Dr. John Criscione, a Johns Hopkins-educated medical doctor and Texas A&M professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. “We see this as our selfless service responsibility to the general public, as Aggies, and we are here to help.”
Criscione said the “Aggie masks” are not intended to enter the PPE supply chain. The prototype was designed when an emergency room physician asked Criscione to explore potential solutions should masks become unavailable.