TAMU engineers make medical masks from everyday items

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY, Tex. (KBTX) - While Texas A&M University may not be holding classes for the remainder of the semester, researchers and experts at the university are hard at work responding to COVID-19.

Professors and graduate students from the College of Engineering are exploring ways to create masks for medical professionals who are seeing a lack of resources as COVID-19 continues to spread.

"The people in the healthcare environment are the most at risk. We just didn’t think it was acceptable for things to be at your own risk, so in addition to the risks that they are already taking, they were considering materials with the uncertainty involved with the labeling, 'At your own risk,'"said Dr. John Criscione with the Department of Biomedical Engineering. "It’s just something that we didn’t want them to have to burden alone. What we found was something that we could do, was design, build and test, so that’s what we did."

After testing nearly 30 different masks, Dr. Criscione and his team have figured out a way to create masks with items you can find at your local grocery store including air-conditioning filters, sheer curtains, staples, and stretchable cords.

Dr. John Criscione says creating a mask similar to the N95 mask isn't easy, but they've learned that it can be done.

He adds that he hopes these masks never have to be used and should only be used in a worst-case or crisis scenario.

For a step-by-step video guide on how these masks are made, see the related links section.