PCF funded Young Investigator Dr. James Byrne, who has both an oncology and engineering background, is part of team of scientists at MIT who have rapidly redeployed their skills to build a better mask for COVID-19, fast. Dr. Byrne and team have developed a way to cheaply mass produce masks that are not only as good as N95 masks, but BETTER – they can be re-sterilized over and over again by basic methods. The manufacturing price per mask could be as little as $5 each, with the per-use costs being just a fraction of that. The masks are molded with the same material used in anesthesia masks.
The masks can be produced quickly and cheaply everywhere, and can be deployed globally, from hospitals in New York to Kenya. The masks contain two circular filters which can be easily popped out and replaced. The molded parts of the mask are veritably indestructible and can be re-sterilized with a simple alcohol wipe. This bio-engineering and manufacturing will be a game changer for returning our medical heroes on the front lines to safety. We are proud of the ingenuity and integrity that our PCF investigators have demonstrated in joining forces to solve problems for everyone in this time of crisis. Help us fund the R&D NOW so that these masks could start rolling out at hospitals in May. The final prototype will be open-source for all to use, ASAP.