PanFab News - Latest Results

Last updated on 08/24/2020

About PanFab

PanFab was established to meet urgent demands for medical supplies and equipment arising from the COVID19 pandemic. Coordination is provided by the Harvard-MIT Center for Regulatory Science at HMS, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) institution. Our primary mode of real-time communication is Slack. See contacts for invitation details. We are focused initially on the Greater Boston area but anyone is free to join and use our work products.

Testing KN95 and counterfeit masks

Hospitals and other organizations are being inundated with obviously counterfeit masks of foreign manufacture. Preliminary data suggests that these are not effective in filtration. Less obviously counterfeit KN95 masks (the Chinese equivalent of NIOSH N95 masks) are also performing poorly at multiple test sites. Local data and recommendations for mask procurement can be found here.

PAPR Project and Filter Testing

Health care providers are experiencing significant shortages in filters for the protective hoods know as Purifying Air Powered Respirators (PAPRs). Photo shows non-traditional PAPRs filters be readied for performance testing. The gray cassettes have been 3D printed and contain a HEPA filter that is normally used in a consumer product. The collars are designed to fit ICS Dover PAPR blowers. Engineering and clinical testing are underway to determine if this solution is safe and effective. This is part of a larger PanFab project to develop alternative PAPR equipment.

PAPR filters undergoing testing

Sterilizing N95 masks with ionized hydrogen peroxide

PanFab releases positive data (medRxiv preprint) on the use of ionized hydrogen peroxide (iHP) for sterilizing N95 masks (FFRs) and PPE. In this work iHP was generated using a Sterimist system from TOMI installed in an environmental chamber (a small room). Real-world testing of sterilized masks continues.

SteraMist system in use.

Image credit: Insider, 04.20.2020

Mask frames and resuse

Severe shortages in N95 masks (FFRs) are making it necessary to reuse a normally disposable product. PanFab engineers are working on sterilization and also building on work done at the University of Connecticut to develop frames that can fit over masks and compensate for damaged to elastic straps. These frames may also improve mask fit after reuse. Preprint and materials found here.

Face Frame Components - Courtesy of Jacob Freake at Fikst Product Dev.

Face Shield-Tested and Deployed

The BWH/PanFab Mk1.0 face shield (described in detail in the Cell Med research article) has been clinically tested and approved and several hundred have been deployed. All designs and data are free for reuse, and you can check out our current design here. Study of injection molding and ANSI testing continues. The photo below shows the PanFab design.

Drs. Yu and LeBoeuf wearing BWH/PanFab Mk 1.0 faceshields