PPE: Human Factors and Product Development

Aerosol Bio-Containment Device (ABCD) for Covid-19 Patients

Healthcare / Human Factors / Product Design / Rapid Prototyping

Advisors: Waring MS, Lo LJ, Kohanski MA
Work type: Consulting
Role: Product Design, Pattern Engineer, and Materials Sourcing Consultant
Dates:  March - May 2020

Waring MS, Lo LJ, Kohanski MA, Kahle E, Marcus IM, et al. (2023), Design and quantitative evaluation of ‘Aerosol Bio-Containment Device (ABCD)’ for reducing aerosol exposure during infectious aerosol-generating events. PLOS ONE 18(1): e0272716. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0272716

I served as product designer and engineering consultant for a collapsible aerosol containment PPE device for use during intubation of COVID-19-positive patients (currently in a clinical trial). I led the early rapid prototyping and testing of the bio-containment outer shell and interior frame construction. I used Gerber CAD Patternmaking software to engineer the shape of the outer shell for manufacturing distribution and scalability. I also consulted on material sourcing and selection.

This prototype was developed at a critical stage at the onset of the pandemic, in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of bio-medical engineers, doctors, and academic researchers from Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania. The design criteria were to ensure durability, easy sanitation, collapsible elements, and ease of use by medical professionals. I assisted in developing the soft vinyl intubation chamber by designing and prototyping the flat pattern translated as a 3D exterior, and contributed to concepts for internal structural mechanisms. The final design is patent-pending.

Antimicrobial Yarn Knit Mask and Filter Housing Testing & Design

CARES Act, Drexel University,Center for Functional Fabric, Pennsylvania Fabric Discovery Center (PA FDC)

Healthcare / Human Factors / Product Design / Rapid Prototyping

Advisor: Genevieve Dion
Work type: Graduate Fellowship
Role: Design Research, Product Design, and Engineering
Dates:  September 2021 -  June 2022

As a product developer and design researcher, I performed fit and safety regulatory tests (saccharine and Portacount) to examine the effectiveness of an antibacterial fiber knit mask and filter insert. I used advanced manufacturing techniques to modify the design of both the filter insert and 3D knit mask, to reach 99% efficacy comparable to N95 mask regulatory standards. I designed and prototyped a laser-cut filter housing insert for inside the knit mask. 

The modifications to the filter shape reduced air leakage across 3 user sizes by 63%.

Project Background: PA FDC, CARES Act Initiative: 

Pennsylvania Fabric Discovery Center (PA FDC) at Drexel University responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by developing and producing new types of masks and respirators, funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), a Department of Defense Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII).” - PA FDC

"The Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) has been working with the Army Futures Command Combat Capabilities Development Command (AFC CCDC) and other institutes and members to develop a near-term strategy to quickly respond to the need for N95 respirators and surgical masks. They are also working with the Pennsylvania Fabric Discovery Center to develop knit mask designs that can be scaled at other facilities with knitting machines and with United States Forces Korea and the CCDC to help optimize N95 mask production via 3-D printing, among other alternatives." - dsiac.org

© Mary Kahle, 2024