Pandemic design: Protective mask utilizing non-endagered components

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A critical component of a successful N95 respirator alternative product in the United States is the ability to circumvent traditional avenues of sourcing and manufacturing. The purpose of this research was to develop and test an alternative facemask design to combat shortages of N95 facemasks by creating a design that can be produced locally with low specialization of materials and process. Through an interdisciplinary network of experts, a new mask design was developed and tested that uses repurposed air filtration media and commercially available components. Manufacturing viability was tested using a small unskilled workforce (n=10-20) to create 6000 masks over 10 days. The ability to quickly produce masks at scale using an unskilled workforce demonstrates the feasibility of the mask design and manufacturing approach to address shortages of critical healthcare equipment, mitigate risk for healthcare and essential workers, and minimize the transmission and spread of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2021 Design of Medical Devices Conference, DMD 2021
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9780791884812
StatePublished - May 11 2020
Event2021 Design of Medical Devices Conference, DMD 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Apr 12 2021Apr 15 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2021 Design of Medical Devices Conference, DMD 2021


Conference2021 Design of Medical Devices Conference, DMD 2021
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this research was provided by the Institiute for Engineering in Medicine and the Office of Discovery and Translation at the University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by ASME.


  • Covid-19
  • Mask
  • N95
  • Personal protective equipment


Dive into the research topics of 'Pandemic design: Protective mask utilizing non-endagered components'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this