Steve Anderson is one of only two scientific glassblowers in Minnesota. As a senior scientific glassblower at Mayo Clinic, he has developed glass aneurysm models, aortic stent placement training aids and liver perfusion systems. Recently, he received a request to make nebulizers to test the fit of N95 face masks in the fight against coronavirus. It was an apparatus he’s never made before.
“They can purchase the nebulizers made of plastic, but the people doing the testing prefer the glass models,” Anderson told Medical Design and Outsourcing. “They only have a few of the glass models, which are probably quite old, so they asked me to make up 20 more for them.”
Scientific glassblowing is a form of glasswork that is used in organic chemistry, medical devices, pharmaceutical applications and research. Some of the earliest examples of scientific glassblowing include Galileo’s thermometer and Thomas Edison’s light bulb, according to the American Scientific Glassblowers Society. Today, scientific glassblowing offers highly specialized glass apparatuses for a number of applications, from training to nebulizers.