The healthcare response to Ebola has shown that current PPE used for infection control in healthcare settings is not ideal.
Design and technical flaws reflect the changing demands on PPE and ongoing evolution of intent for its use.
Improvements are needed to make PPE more uniform, with
greater assurance of protection and less interference with healthcare delivery, while making errors in use much less probable.
Specific elements limiting the effectiveness of currently available designs and technologies include challenges wearer discomfort related to heat and ventilation, fluid penetration through materials, fit and sizing of apparel, and ease of correct donning and doffing.
The objective of this research will focus on improving the material and design of gowns and respirators to address those and other issues, and demonstration of scalable production capability within US industry.