Considerations Using Additive Manufacture of Emulsion Inks to Produce Respiratory Protective Filters Against Viral Respiratory Tract Infections Such as the COVID-19 Virus

Colin Sherborne, Frederik Claeyssens

Article ID: 316
Vol 7, Issue 1, 2021, Article identifier:

VIEWS - 86 (Abstract) 13 (PDF)

In Press, Corrected proof, Published online January 13, 2021


This review paper explores the potential of combining emulsion-based inks with additive manufacturing (AM) to produce filters for respiratory protective equipment (RPE) in the fight against viral and bacterial infections of the respiratory tract. The value of these filters has been highlighted by the current severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 crisis where the importance of protective equipment for health care workers cannot be overstated. Three-dimensional (3D) printing of emulsions is an emerging technology built on a well-established field of emulsion templating to produce porous materials such as polymerized high internal phase emulsions (polyHIPEs). PolyHIPE-based porous polymers have tailorable porosity from the submicron to 100 s of μm. Advances in 3D printing technology enables the control of the bulk shape while a micron porosity is controlled independently by the emulsion-based ink. Herein, we present an overview of the current polyHIPE-based filter applications. Then, we discuss the current use of emulsion templating combined with stereolithography and extrusion-based AM technologies. The benefits and limitation of various AM techniques are discussed, as well as considerations for a scalable manufacture of a polyHIPE-based RPE.


Polymerized high internal phase emulsions; Emulsion templating; COVID-19; Additive manufacturing; Respirator protective equipment

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