To reduce virus transmission via infectious aerosol and increase the safety of health care workers, NANOTEC-NSTDA developed nSPHERE Pressurized Helmets. Two types of nSPHERE are available; a negative-pressure helmet nSPHERE(-) and a positive-pressure helmet nSPHERE(+). nSPHERE(-) is to be worn by infected patients as the pressure inside the helmet is kept lower than that of the outside thus allowing air to flow into the helmet but not leaking out to keep the medical workers safe. Air from inside the helmet is cleaned by HEPA filter prior to release out. Conversely, nSPHERE(+) is designed to be used by medical workers enabling air to be cleaned before flowing into the helmet.
Dr. Paisan Khanchaitit, Leader of NANOTEC Nanoneedle Research Team, explained that nSPHERE was designed based on the concept of easy assembly, fast production, and low cost. The helmet is made from one single sheet of waterproof paper folded into the helmet. Its key features are lightweight and reusability.
Over 900 nSPHERE helmets have been used in 37 hospitals and organizations, including Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital Bangkok, Emergency Medical Service Center (Erawan Center), Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) General Hospital, Wetchakarunrasm Hospital, Sirindhorn Hospital, Ladkrabang Hospital, Nakornping Hospital and Kamphaeng Phet Hospital.
The research team is planning to grant non-exclusive licenses to multiple companies in order to ramp up the production. A number of companies have expressed their interest to license the technology.