Richardson May 2020

FIGHT COVID19 INNOVATION USED TO

So far, about have been made at a combined cost of 200 $2,000 .

The adapters turn SNORKELS N95 MASKS . into

For health care workers and their families, the adapters are

FREE.

HEALTH CARE

The adapters are made for $10 and are distributed to health care workers for free. (Photos courtesy James Grin)

UTDallasalumni createadapters that turnsnorkels intoN95masks

BY MIRANDA JAIMES AND MAKENZIE PLUSNICK

“I have the distribution channels; I know the people; we have the resources; we have the connection. So I can make a big dierence locally,” Grin said. Using a 3D printer, Baek and Grin prototyped various designs of the adapter needed to convert the masks. Eventually, they landed on a product that paired the adapter with a com- mercially available snorkeling mask and a hospital-grade ventilator lter. The pair enlisted the help of Emerson Automation Solutions in McKinney to 3D print the attachment at cost, Grin said. To test the t of the mask, Grin said they sprayed a solution in the face of a volunteer to check if any moisture seeped through the seal. Once the pair was condent in the product’s ability to lter contaminants, manufacturing began.

Two University of Texas at Dallas graduates are helping regional health care workers ght COVID-19 by con- verting snorkeling gear to N95 masks. “There is a worldwide shortage of masks and other [personal protective equipment], and I did not want to wait until the supply runs out to nd an alternative solution,” Plano-based anesthesiologist Dr. Peter Baek wrote in the summary portion of his GoFundMe page. In hopes of nding a local manufac- turer, Baek approached James Grin, an old friend he worked with in The University of Texas at Dallas’ business incubator. Today, Grin is the CEO of Invene, a Richardson-based health care software company. Grin said he jumped at the oppor- tunity to join Baek in his endeavor.

Using 3D printers, the adapters were manufactured at several facilities, including UT Dallas.

So far, 200 adapters have been made using 3D printers at various businesses and universities, including UT Dallas. The company has also released the computer-aided design of the device online for others to download and use for free. “What that means is anyone can take our design and modify it on their own,” Grin said. The adapter is being distributed for free to health care workers or those close to them, Grin said. Masks have

manufacturing cost. As of May 13, the fund had raised $3,250 of its $5,000 goal. “This is not a money-making initiative,” Grin said. Unlike N95 masks, Grin and Baek’s mask is reusable once the adapter has been disinfected and paired with a new lter; however, the masks are not approved by the Federal Drug Admin- istration and are not meant to be used in place of an FDA-approved product, Grin said. “We are [making] a last-resort mask, which means if everything else goes bad, you use us,” Grin said.

to be purchased separately. Baek set up a GoFundMe to help subsidize the adapter’s $10

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