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Testing is well underway for the new purely Czech protective mask against coronavirus, developed within one week by the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics of the Czech Technical University in Prague (CIIRC ČVUT) under the designation CIIRC RP95-3D. This personal protective equipment with a replaceable filter meeting the highest level of protection has undergone further testing in the National Reference Laboratory of the National Institute of Public Health. The permanence of already certified properties after professional sterilization were verified this time. All procedures are consulted with leading experts thanks to the active involvement of the Czech Society of Cardiology.

In the past two days,the team of CIIRC CTU researchers focused on what procedures to choose for maintaining the longest possible usability of this personal protective equipment. Already last week, an assembly consisting of the mask´s body printed on special 3D printers and an external P3 grade filter has been certified to EN 140: 1999, thus meeting the same or higher degree of protection as the FFP3 respirator. Scientists have now focused on whether the protective properties will be maintained after sterilization. Proper and safe sterilization procedures were consulted with the team of the Czech Society of Cardiology, as well as the procedure for proper disinfection. It has been shown that even after sterilization in an autoclave, a steam sterilizer, which is commonly equipped with a number of hospitals, laboratories and surgeries and where materials are sterilized at high pressure and temperature, the safety of the mask has been maintained. This testing was carried out yesterday by the National Reference Laboratory of National Institute of Public Health and tightness was subsequently confirmed by the laboratory of the Research Institute of Occupational Safety. The CIIRC R95-3D is ready for use in the most difficult clinical environments and has proven to be reusable.


“I'm very glad that the development of the respirator is moving so fast forward. It seems that it could also help outside the Czech Republic in other affected countries, such as Italy, where it could be handed over for their own production. This is another example of Industry 4.0, ”says CTU Rector doc. Vojtěch Petráček.


"The Czech Society of Cardiology considers the success of CIIRC CTU in the development of the CIIRC RP95-3D protective mask in such a short period of time as an extraordinary benefit for doctors treating patients with suspected or proven Covid 19 disease," said prof. Aleš Linhart from the First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital in Prague, Chairman of the Czech Society of Cardiology, which provides valuable consultations to the CIIRC CTU team and prepares testing in outpatient practice. "The possibility of changing filters, effective sterilization and disinfection of the facial part itself is good news and will allow reuse to ensure the safety of healthcare workers in their hazardous work," confirmed cardiologist doc. Tomáš Kára.


The order for 40,000 CIIRC RP95-3D half masks has been confirmed at no cost, thanks to the collaboration between the Ministry of Health, the start-up Trix Connections at CTU and 3Dees Industries, the official representative of HP 3D Printing for the Czech Republic. "Under the Trix Connections license, we provide technical support, coordinate all manufacturing logistics and mask assembly with all involved HP 3D printer printers," said Miloš Blaškovan, one of the founders of 3Dees Industries.


"The development of the protective mask continues, the next step is, besides the preparation of a model for mass production in the form of injection, also further testing in medical practice," added dr. Vít Dočkal for the CIIRC CTU development team.


 The CIIRC RP95-3D is designed as a personal protective equipment primarily for the protection of teams deployed at the highest possible risk of infection and therefore ensures a high degree of individual protection, especially for medical professionals. It protects its wearer even at the cost of lower environmental protection. This principle is normally based on a number of FFP3 class of protective equipment available on the market.


The mask is not primarily developed for casual wear, but is intended for the most endangered workers, especially hospitals, who face the daily threat of infection. It is equipped with a specially adapted exhalation valve, which is fitted with a silicone membrane. The air goes out, but thanks to the technical settings, its dispersion is absolutely minimal. Nevertheless, according to good practice of doctors from Wuhan, China and other areas affected by coronavirus, the CIIRC RP95-3D can be supplemented with a veil to increase environmental protection and minimize risk.