Scientists from the University of Southampton, in conjunction with engineers from the National Oceanography Centre, and Baynhams, have built a prototype personal respirator to overcome the shortcomings of existing protective equipment used by healthcare professionals. The PeRSo system was designed from scratch in seven days and uses a fan to draw air via a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, delivered via a sealed facemask or hood.
The device, which has passed the first stage sniff tests, is quiet, lightweight and can be made using readily available materials, including 3D printing and laser cutting. The immediate goal is to maximise production and offer the product to as many healthcare professionals as possible.
“Scientists develop a prototype personal respirator.“
Professor of Bioelectronics, University of Southampton, Hywel Morgan, stated: “This is an excellent example of industry, universities and hospitals combining their expertise and answering the call to develop solutions needed to save lives in the current crisis”.
A Honorary Consultant at UHS and Professor of Respiratory Medicine, University of Southampton, Paul Elkington, stated: “We must minimise the risk of infection for medical staff and stop them getting sick at the peak of the pandemic so that they can care for others. The engineering team have rapidly developed something simple yet effective. The HEPA filtered air removes ninety-nine point nine-five per cent of particulate matter and the face mask protects from splashes and so we think this will reduce the risk of infection.”