Researchers at Queen's University have designed protective shield masks that can be produced using a 3D printer to help meet the demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the fight against coronavirus.
Dr Eneko Larraneta, Dr Juan Dominguez-Robles and Dr Dimitrios Lamprou from the School of Pharmacy have modified designs developed by Spanish engineers to help meet the demand across the Belfast Trust.
The 3D printer is normally used to manufacture a range of drug delivery systems and medical devices including catheters, microneedles and tablets.
"Everyone is thinking how they can help in this crisis situation," said Dr Dimitrios Lamprou.
"I've worked with 3D printers to produce a number of pharmaceutical devices, so we decided to work on the prototype already developed in Spain to produce a mask that would work for healthcare staff . We have already produced over 20 masks this week, which we are delivering to the Belfast Trust.
"The masks can be produced relatively low-cost and we are providing these as a donation to the NHS."
The team plan to continue producing the face shields and ask that others with 3D printers do the same to increase supplies.
Professor Brian Falzon, from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is also working to meet the demand using laser cutting technology of polymer sheeting.
Professor Falzon said: "Simplicity is at the heart of these designs. We believe that we have the capacity to produce between 100 and 200 per day."