The Columbus, Ohio-based nonprofit tech development company announced on March 28 that it began rapid manufacturing of its system to decontaminate N95 respirator masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). NPR reports that Battelle already has a system on its way to New York City, which is especially hard hit by the pandemic.
There have been numerous reports of mask and PPE shortages around the world as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rampage. The FDA has since relaxed some of its regulations around emergency use authorization and has advised on increasing supplies of PPE. Other medical device companies have also begun to ramp up production of certain respirator masks, estimating to produce 1.1 billion masks by the end of the year.
Battelle’s CCDS Critical Care Decontamination System can decontaminate up to 80,000 masks per day at full capacity. The system is scalable and can process more pieces of personal protective equipment daily.
The system uses concentrated, vapor phase hydrogen peroxide and exposes used respirator masks to the validated concentration level for 2.5 hours to decontaminate biological contaminants including the coronavirus, according to the company.
“The Battelle team mobilized to begin acquiring parts and developing manufacturing processes to deploy the system to help those on the frontline who need essential protective equipment,” contract research president Matt Vaughan said in a news release. “We are building the next units and are in discussions with health officials across the country to determine where to best place them.”
Hospitals and healthcare systems that are enrolled in the Battelle CCDS program will collect used PPE and masks in accordance with an approved procedure and courier them to an active Battelle CCDS Critical Care Decontamination System location. Each PPE will be labeled with a barcoded serial number to track the chain-of-custody throughout the process so each hospital will receive its own masks back. Masks will also be marked with the number of times it has been processed.