3d MFM Project

Our Active Projects

1. Survey of FFP3 Experiences of healthcare workers


How can we know what aspects of FFP3 masks to redesign? These define our engineers’ “core themes” and will be informed by our survey assessing the FFP3 mask experiences of healthcare workers.


The Plan

Together with expert psychology and ergonomic input, our survey assessed the impact of FFP3 in terms of

  1. Physical safety
  2. Psychological safety
  3. Perceived competency in clinical activities

The survey has been adopted by several medical and dental Royal Colleges in the UK and various healthcare worker associations.

2. Virucidal Efficacy of Invisi Smart Shield


The use of a virucidal coating is imperative for a next-generation FFP3 solution. By embedding the molecular nanocoating, Invisi Smart Shield, within the construction of the mask’s filter as well as on its surface, viral and bacterial burden is virtually eradicated creating a safer, long-lasting and reusable FFP3 mask.


Here at the University of Cambridge (Gupta Laboratory), we are characterising the microbicidal efficacy of our industrial partner’s (Invisi Smart Technologies) coating, Invisi Smart Shield, under a variety of simulated healthcare settings.


The Invisi Smart Shield is photocatalytically-activated to continuously kill pathogens. This property makes our FFP3 mask favourable in nosocomial settings, such as operating theatres, where the ambient light promotes constant self-cleaning as it is being worn. In challenging environments with increased viral load the use of a compact portable light box will be an easy solution for effective disinfection.

Our studies will answer:

  1. How long our FFP3 prototypes can be worn for in different clinical environments
  2. What thresholds of increased pathogen burden trigger the requirement for the usage of a light box
  3. How light-based disinfection protocols can be incorporated into clinical environments
  4. How the above impacts everyday healthcare workflow in areas such as theatres
3. Photographic Face Assessments of hcws


We know that fit failure amongst healthcare workers trialling FFP3 masks is problematic. Inadequate facial seal occurs for a variety of reasons and can potentially compromise safety during clinical exposure.


The Plan

We are using 3D and dynamic 4D facial imaging technology  + speech and language analysis to answer the following questions:

  1. Why do some faces fit FFP3 masks – and others fail fitting?
  2. Can we predict who will fail fit-testing?
  3. What facial movements disrupt FFP3 fit?

Results will inform:

  1. The proportion of workforce for whom a customised approach is required
  2. Static and dynamic requirements for FFP3 mask design
4. Risk stratification of surgical procedures


PPE recommendations are influenced by socio-political considerations but they also need to be evidence-based – not all clinical scenarios require FFP3-level protection. For example, surgical procedures are very variable and therefore have variable risk of transmission of COVID-19.


The Plan

We are working in collaboration with researchers who have modelled the probability of COVID-19 positivity to establish risk of transmission in the surgical setting.


Our study will deliver an app that follows an algorithm to stratify risk so that procedures may be grouped together and surgical services streamlined to:

  1. Maximise efficiency of surgical patient turnaround
  2. Increase confidence amongst healthcare workers working in the surgical environment