3D printed auxetic nasopharyngeal swabs for COVID-19 sample collection
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AbstractThe COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in worldwide shortages of nasopharyngeal swabs required for sample collection. While the shortages are becoming acute due to supply chain disruptions, the demand for testing has increased both as a prerequisite to lifting restrictions and in preparation for the second wave. One of the potential solutions to this crisis is the development of 3D printed nasopharyngeal swabs that behave like traditional swabs. However, the opportunity to digitally conceive and fabricate swabs allows for design improvements that can potentially reduce patient pain and discomfort. The study reports the progress that has been made on the development of auxetic nasopharyngeal swabs that can shrink under axial resistance. This allows the swab to navigate through the nasal cavity with significantly less stress on the surrounding tissues. This is achieved through systematically conceived negative Poisson's ratio (-ν) structures in a biocompatible material. Finite element (FE) and surrogate modelling techniques were employed to identify the most optimal swab shape that allows for the highest negative strain (-∊lat) under safe stress (σvon). The influence and interaction effects of the geometrical parameters on the swab's performance were also characterised. The research demonstrates a new viewpoint for the development of functional nasopharyngeal swabs that can be 3D printed to reduce patient discomfort. The methodology can be further exploited to address various challenges in biomedical devices and redistributed manufacturing.
CitationArjunan, A., Zahid, S., Baroutaji, A. and Robinson, J. (2020) 3D printed auxetic nasopharyngeal swabs for COVID-19 sample collection, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmbbm.2020.104175
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Elsevier in Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials on 12/11/2020, available online: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmbbm.2020.104175 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
SponsorsThis research was conducted with support from the CALMERIC grant [European Commission, Grant number: 32R19P03053]; 6DME Ltd. UK; and Formlabs GmbH.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/