U of Maryland researchers develop new personal protective equipment for prolonged use

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A team of researchers at the University of Maryland is developing a new type of personal protective equipment that is more comfortable for periods of longer use, according to an Oct. 4 press release

Led by Jelena Srebric, PhD, the team is designing a type of PPE in which goggles are fitted with a micro fan supplying a constant, purified air flow while creating an invisible air shield that can block virus particles potentially carrying COVID-19.

The device also contains a sensor measuring micro pressure, CO2, humidity and temperature. It can be sterilized with ultraviolet light at the end of each day of use. 

The project is being funded by the CDC through a program supporting research designated to assist communities in public health crises.

"One of the major problems with currently available wearables, such as masks, is that they rely on the user’s lungs to push air against the filtering surfaces," Dr. Srebric said in the press release. "Over time, this places a lot of strain on the user and leads to discomfort. Our system solves this problem by including a micro fan. It provides a continuous local air flow, and self-monitors to ensure the pressure is at the right level."

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