MKU professor develops respirator that picks up atmospheric oxygen

An assistant professor of Physics at Madurai Kamaraj University says he has come up with a prototype of a unique respiratory mask that can pick up oxygen from the atmosphere for the wearer.

T. Arockiadass says he has developed a ventilator-cum-respiratory mask that ensures more than 40% of atmospheric oxygen is available within the mask.

Called LIDS-VR mask, it contains sensors to regulate the level of oxygen. “The present LIDS ventilator-cum-respirator (LIDS-VR) works by providing a high concentration of oxygen into the available air within the mask,” he said.

“The atmosphere has 20.9% of oxygen. I have developed a nanomaterial that can absorb oxygen. It requires energy to release the oxygen for the wearer. For this, we use 1.5-cm-2-cm lipo 3.7 volt battery. The mask can be charged like a mobile phone,” he said.

The mask weighs around 100 gm. The use of battery does not make it heavier.

Mr. Arockiadass said the respirator could be used when a sick patient is waiting for ambulance or by festival shoppers at a heavily crowded mall. “An ambulance can take 5 to 10 minutes to arrive. A person who has difficulty in breathing can use it till then. This is particularly helpful for asthmatic persons. It can also be used in aeroplanes,” he said.

When necessary, the respirator can double up as a ventilator. “Where more oxygen is needed we can attach a cartridge to supply oxygen externally,” Mr. Arockiadass said. He said he had used masks from the market and modified them to develop his respirator version. He is working with a company to transfer the technology.

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