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Thursday, March 4th, 2021

Battelle develops system to decontaminate, reuse N95 masks

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Battelle is manufacturing a system to rapidly decontaminate N95 respirator masks and other medical protective equipment.

The Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS) is capable of decontaminating up to 80,000 masks per day and even more pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) each day. The system uses concentrated, vapor phase hydrogen peroxide (VPHP). It exposes used respirator masks to the validated concentration level for 2.5 hours to decontaminate biological contaminates, including SARS-CoV-2.

The company is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to obtain an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to begin processing previously worn PPE for reuse in a clinical setting.

Battelle started building systems at one of its manufacturing operations in Columbus for shipment to sites around the country. The first completed system is in transit to the New York metropolitan area to address the city’s critical shortage of PPE.

“The Battelle team mobilized to begin acquiring parts and developing manufacturing processes to deploy systems to help those on the frontline who need essential protective equipment,” Matt Vaughan, Battelle’s contract research president, said. “We are building the next units and are in discussions with health officials across the country to determine where to best place them.”

Battelle CCDS is based on research that Battelle performed for the FDA in 2015 to assess the feasibility to decontaminate N95 respirator masks in the event of a PPE shortage resulting from a pandemic.

Once the EUA is in place, healthcare systems that are enrolled in the Battelle CCDS program will collect worn respirator masks daily and courier them to one of the active Battelle CCDS locations. Each hospital system will receive its own masks back.