Fight against COVID-19: IIT-Kanpur, Lucknow develop alternative to N95 masks

The device can deliver uncontaminated air for over six hours, he said, adding that it has an universal design that can fit anybody.

Published: 16th April 2020 07:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th April 2020 07:47 PM   |  A+A-

Image of surgical masks used for representation. (Photo | EPS)


KANPUR: The IIT-Kanpur and Lucknow's Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences have claimed to have developed an alternative to high-end N95 face masks.

Called as the positive pressure respirator system (PPRS), it will address an acute scarcity of N95 masks, which are a critical component of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, IIT's mechanical engineering Prof Nachiketa Tiwari said.

He said the new mask cab be produced in a large quantity in a short time as it needs local material.

He claimed that the PPRS was a safer alternative to their counterpart.

"The existing N95 respirator does not protect the user if there is an imperfect seal between the mask and the face, as there is negative pressure inside it," Tiwari said.

"In contrast, the PPRS provides uncontaminated air because it uses positive pressure. Thus, contaminated air from a room cannot enter it even in the presence of a leakage," he added.

He said the new mask developed by them eliminates the risk of coronavirus exposure to health workers who may get infected by the virus while dealing with patients.

The device can deliver uncontaminated air for over six hours, he said, adding that it has an universal design that can fit anybody.

The team which worked on the new mask has also made a video, which can be viewed to fabricate the device locally.

The team that developed the mask included Professor Tiwari and Lucknow institute's COVID-19 ICU in-charge Prof Devendra Gupta.

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