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MIT's new face-shield design could help hospitals with PPE shortages

The new type of shield is foldable, so it can be stacked in mass quantities and shipped in boxes by the thousands.

Andy Altman Director of Video Production
Andy Altman is a producer covering all things science and tech. He led production on CNET's award-winning limited documentary series Hacking the Apocalypse. He also created and co-hosts our video series What the Future.
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  • Webby Award Honoree 2023 - Science & Education, Gold Telly 2022 - Science and Technology, Gold Telly 2022 - Science and Technology Series, Gold Telly 2021 - Documentary Series, Silver Telly 2021 - Directing
Andy Altman
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Engineers used a Zund large-format cutter in MIT's Center for Bit and Atoms to prototype face shields.

Centers for Bit and Atoms

A team of engineers, doctors and scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a new technique to address one area of the shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE, in the US.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, US hospitals are struggling to provide their staff with PPE, including plastic face shields. Infectious disease experts say face shields are crucial because they provide a second layer of protection and can be disinfected and reused. 

Watch this: How minds from MIT created a foldable face shield that can be rapidly mass-produced

Martin Culpepper, an MIT engineering professor, led a team to design a new type of shield cut with a tool called a die cutter. The shield is foldable so it can be stacked in mass quantities and shipped in boxes by the thousands. Culpepper spoke to CNET along with his cardiologist colleague, Dr. Elazer Edelman. Watch the video to see how they came up with the concept.

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