During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic early in 2020, there was a shortage of personal protective equipment for our healthcare workers. There was a particular concern with the supply of the N95 respirators or filtering facepiece respirators (FFP). Many researchers have looked at ways to prolong or reuse the respirators.
A group of the researcher in Malaysia, led by Dr Mohd Ridha Muhamad from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, the University of Malaya with co-researchers Dr Mohd Sayuti Ab Karim also the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mutaz KM Chanrour, and Professor Dr Victor Hoe received a grant from the University of Malaya COVID-19 Related Special Research Grant to develop a Facial Respirator Hybrid Decontamination methods to disinfect the N95 respirator.
The invention a Hybrid Mask Sterilizer received Gold Medal at the 4th World Invention Academic Conference 2020 (WIAC2020) organised by the Korea Invention News. The hybrid mask sterilizer project was initiated due to the increased use that leads to the acute shortage of N-95 respirators worldwide and locally during the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hybrid mask sterilizer incorporates two sterilisation techniques, ultraviolet light and vaporised hydrogen peroxides. The projected is still under development and testing and the results have been promising, it will be able to be incorporated into the standard operating procedure in hospital