A TEAM of UBC (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada) engineering students, led by Faheem Saeed, a fourth-year UBC Mechanical Engineering student specializing in Biomedical Engineering, have created an affordable, breathable, full-face N99+ respirator that is reusable and completely transparent – possibly the first of its kind.
Made of optical-grade polycarbonate, it provides a complete seal around the face and uses a pair of KP100 filters on either side to filter out up to 99.97% of airborne particles measuring 0.3 microns and above, making it suitable for both Covid-19 and wildfire smoke protection. The eyes are also sealed to protect them against entry of any particulates and to prevent irritation from wildfire smoke.
The respirator — which the team is calling TUSK — is also lighter and cheaper than similar products, they say, weighing in at just 270 grams and costing $99 CAD (around $75 US).
The concept was developed by Faheem Saeed, who grew up in Bangkok. Faheem did his primary schooling at AIT International School in Pathumthani and middle school studies at Ruamrudee International School (RIS) in Bangkok, before moving to Kuala Lumpur, where he finished his IB Diploma at Fairview International School.
The idea of designing Tusk was hatched during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when it became apparent that the need for respirators and masks were vital in the fight against Covid-19.
“We realized that we had an opportunity to create something that could help people both during and after the pandemic,” says Faheem. “Studying other full-face respirators on the market, we found that most were bulky and expensive. They also hid much of the wearer’s face, which makes communication challenging — particularly for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
“What’s more, you couldn’t keep these respirators on when you’re going through a security checkpoint or using facial ID on your smartphone.”
The team is using the filters which are easily available in the market and are tested to meet KP100 requirements. The team has conducted initial tests on the seal and intends to submit the respirator for formal testing and certification from Health Canada, FDA and CE.
“Our respirator may be simpler than industrial models, but it’s durable and comfortable to wear for long periods of time,” explains Faheem. “While we’re initially focused on consumers, health care professionals can use this respirator, too. It has no metal parts, so it is safe to use near MRI machines. It can also be sanitized in an autoclave.”
Faheem Saeed recently also formed a company, Ayts Technologies Inc. (www.ayts.ca), to further develop this idea and has recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to market the product globally. You can view the indiegogo campaign, see the product launch video, learn more about the device, and preorder via the following link: https://igg.me/at/TUSKN99PLUS