YRDSB Students Create Non-Invasive Ventilation Mask Prototype

Two York Region District School Board students have developed a non-invasive ventilation mask prototype to help with a shortage of invasive ventilators to treat patients with COVID-19.

Marcus Chan of Richmond Hill High School and Ryan Lam of Unionville High School were inspired to create their PolyMask prototype after learning of a shortage of invasive ventilators. Using Fusion 360 to create their initial design, the team has now used 3D printing to create a prototype. 

Non-invasive ventilation has not been used to treat patients with COVID-19, due to a process called aerosolization. Aerosolization is the process by which a virus can be dispersed in small particles. The PolyMask aims to be the first non-invasive ventilation mask to introduce a filtration system that eliminates aerosolization.

“When we realized there was a shortage of ventilators, we started researching how to build an inexpensive option to aid in the fight against COVID-19,” said Marcus Chan. “By creating a filtration system for the PolyMask, we hope to make non-invasive ventilation a viable option to help treat patients with COVID-19.”

“We both saw an opportunity to learn something new and help people at the same time,” said Ryan Lam. “This experience has been incredibly valuable for us as we have learned new skills and begun to understand what is involved in bringing a product to market.”

Chan and Lam have now been joined by a peer from Peel District School Board who is exploring injection moulding to assist in bringing the product to market. The PolyMask team has also applied to multiple micro-grants and are actively seeking mentorship opportunities to aid them in their venture.