USF wins Patent for Humanity award for 3D-printed swab

Tampa-based University of South Florida was awarded a Patent for Humanity award by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its 3D-printed nasopharyngeal swab.

The swab was created early in the COVID-19 pandemic during the commercial NP swab shortage, according to a Jan. 12 news release from Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital. In one week in March 2020, teams from USF Health, Northwell Health, Tampa General Hospital and Formslab developed the swab prototype and tested it. Once the swap was successfully tested, the team provided the design files free to hospitals, clinics, the military and licensed medical device companies worldwide. 

To date, the design has been shared with institutions in more than 60 countries, which have produced more than 100 million swabs, according to the release.

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