These Preston designed adaptors could be vital in the fight against coronavirus

Posted on - 19th April, 2020 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Health, Preston News, UCLan, University campus
The adaptors are printed using a 3D printer Pic: UCLan
The adaptors are printed using a 3D printer Pic: UCLan

Two Preston lecturers have been working to help make life-saving equipment for those battling coronavirus in hospital.


Dr Steve Sigurnjak and Dr Matthew Dickinson combined to create three brackets that allow breathing masks to be attached to viral filters.

Printing them via 3D printers the NHS can then help the Covid-19 patients access oxygen without needing under-pressure hospital ventilator equipment.

Dr Sigurnjak, a senior lecturer in electronic engineering at the University of Central Lancashire, said he came up with the idea after a conversation with a critical care doctor at Salford Royal Hospital.

He met virtually with Dr Dickinson, a senior lecturer in mechanical engineering, also at UCLan, and 40-minutes later they had a first prototype.

Dr Dickinson said: “Luckily I brought a 3D printer home from work so I was able start printing in my garage but one set of three brackets took 16 hours. Steve was set up in his utility room with his 3D printer but we knew we would need help to meet the deadline.

“Our colleagues Hadley Brooks and Steve Kirby stepped in to assist so between the four of us we managed to keep printing 24/7 to get all 40 sets completed in 48 hours.”

The adaptors are made of polylactic acid, which is used to create Lego bricks.

Dr Signurjak was previously using his 3D printer to create toys for his three children said: “Because these are going to be used when they run out of ventilators, the ideal situation is they would never be used but, if they are, we want to make sure that we’ve got as many as possible, so they could almost become disposable if need be.”

Read more: UCLan sports hall transformed by the Army into field hospital

The pair worked to complete the work in five days flat, compared to the months needed usually.

Dr Dickinson said: “If hospitals run out of ventilators then these adaptors are going to be a key thing to someone surviving this virus or not and for me it’s the reason why we do what we do, it’s the reason we’re in this role.”

Read more: Deafening applause for NHS workers outside Royal Preston Hospital

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