2020/03/26: CIIRC RP95-3D Passed Through Further Testing. Half-Mask of the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics CTU Will Protect Doctors in the Most Difficult Clinical Operation
Testing of the new purely Czech protective mask that was developed within one week under the name „CIIRC RP95-3D“ as a protection against coronavirus by the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics of the Czech Technical University in Prague (CIIRC CTU) continues successfully. This personal protective equipment with an exchangeable filter meets the highest level of protection. It has undergone further testing in the National Reference Laboratory of the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH). This time, the preservation of already certified properties was verified after being subject of professional sterilization. All procedures are consulted with leading experts thanks to the active involvement of the Czech Society of Cardiology.
In past two days, the team of CIIRC CTU researchers focused on what procedures shall be chosen for the longest usability of this personal protective equipment. Already last week, an assembly consisting of a mask body printed on special 3D printers and an external P3 grade filter has been certified according to EN 140:1999, thus meeting the same or even higher degree of protection as the FFP3 respirator. Scientists have now focused on whether the protective properties will be maintained after sterilization. Proper and safe sterilization procedures were consulted with the team of the Czech Society of Cardiology, as well as the procedure for proper disinfection. It has been proven that even after sterilization in an autoclave, a steam sterilizer that is commonly equipped with many hospitals, laboratories and surgeries for sterilization of materials at high pressure and temperature, the safety of the mask has been persistent. This testing was carried out yesterday by the National Reference Laboratory of NIPH and tightness was subsequently confirmed by the laboratory of the Research Institute of Occupational Safety. The CIIRC R95-3D is ready for use in the most difficult clinical environments and has proven to be reusable.
“I’m very glad that the development of the respirator is moving so fast forward. It seems that it could help not only in the Czech Republic, but also in other affected countries, such as Italy, where it could be handed over for their own production. This is another example of Industry 4.0,” says CTU Rector Vojtěch Petráček.
“The Czech Society of Cardiology considers the success of CIIRC CTU in developing the CIIRC RP95-3D protective mask in such a short period of time as an extraordinary benefit for doctors treating patients with suspected or proven Covid 19 disease,” said prof. Aleš Linhart from the First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Chairman of the Czech Society of Cardiology, which provides valuable consultations to the CIIRC CTU team and prepares testing in outpatient practice. “The ability to change filters, effectively sterilize and disinfect the facial itself is good news and will allow reuse to ensure the safety of healthcare professionals in their hazardous work,” said cardiologist Tomáš Kára.
Yesterday, thanks to the established cooperation between the Czech Ministry of Health, Trix Connections, a start-up company at CTU, and 3Dees Industries, the official representative of HP 3D Printing for the Czech Republic, an order for 40,000 CIIRC RP95-3D half masks was confirmed, non-commercially at a cost price. “Based on the Trix Connections license, we provide technical support, coordinate all manufacturing logistics and mask assembly with all involved HP 3D printer operators to produce the mask,” he said Miloš Blaškovan, one of the 3Dees Industries founders.
“The development of the protective mask continues, the next step is, besides the preparation of a model for mass production by injection molding, also further testing in medical practice,” added Vít Dočkal for the CIIRC CTU research team.
The CIIRC RP95-3D is designed as a personal protective equipment primarily for the protection of teams deployed at the highest possible risk of infection and therefore ensures a high degree of individual protection, especially for medical professionals. It protects its wearer even at the cost of lower protection of his or her surroundings. As standard, a number of FFP3 class protective equipment available on the market is often based on this principle.
The mask is not primarily developed for casual wear, but is intended for the most vulnerable workers, especially in hospitals, who face daily threat of infection. For exhalation, it is equipped with a specially adapted exhalation valve, which is fitted with a silicone membrane. The air goes out, but thanks to the technical settings, its dispersion is absolutely minimal. Nevertheless, according to good practice of doctors from Wuhan, China and other areas affected by coronavirus, the CIIRC RP95-3D can be supplemented with a veil to increase environmental protection and minimize risk.