NYU Abu Dhabi is working with Mubadala Healthcare to create 3D printed N-95 masks that would be better for the environment while providing the same level of protection for users.
Experts at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi facility were enlisted to advise on issues regarding supply chain and clinical engineering, as well as seeking their medical opinion and help in testing the equipment. The collaboration is part of an effort to find solutions to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to do so in a sustainable way.
The new 3D printed masks will be similar to the top-rated N95 mask, but reusable and with replacement filters.
“This initiative allows us to directly contribute to the government’s response to the outbreak, and builds on our existing role of offering the highest standards in education. I am proud to say that two members of the team at Mubadala Healthcare working on this project are NYUAD alumni,” NYU Abu Dhabi Vice Provost for Innovation and Managing Director of startAD Ramesh Jagannathan said.
Jagannathan explains that the 3D printed prototypes are designed to meet the performance standards of the N95 mask, but enhanced by the fact that the modular new design will enable the masks to be sterilized and reused, with removable, replaceable filters.
The prototypes are currently being tested in non-live conditions by the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi physicians, and after receiving feedback, the University will optimize the design of the masks.
Abdulla Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi, Head of Mubadala Healthcare, said the collaboration was launched “to collaborate across diverse enterprises and sectors to protect the community, and support the UAE government in its efforts to tackle the pandemic and mitigate its impacts.”
NYU Abu Dhabi was able to respond immediately to Mubadala Healthcare’s call, working with the project team and using its substantial resources in 3D printing, engineering, and design to turn around physical prototypes in less than 48 hours.
“While our own facilities are well placed to procure supplies today, it is important to have a more robust and diversified supply network moving forward. It is our hope that our work will also help to ensure adequate supply to meet the UAE’s needs, and that our methods can help the international community as well.”
Mubadala Healthcare’s Al Shamsi emphasizes that this project is part of Mubadala Healthcare’s broader approach to responding proactively to the pandemic. Among other steps, it has already established on-site and drive-through screening centers at its facilities, increased laboratory testing capacity for COVID-19, launched pharmacy home delivery, and expanded telemedicine across assets.
“We will continue to work with other Mubadala assets as well as highly regarded external parties in an ongoing effort to support the UAE leadership and its people to overcome the current challenges wherever possible,” he concludes.