Corona Virus - Facemask - Joint and open effort to make SLA 3D printed masks using a copper coating for anti viral properties


#1

Hi,

Here in the UK (and we suspect globally) face masks are in desperate short supply. We are keen that the efforts to develop and supply any alternative masks benefit everyone OPENLY and are not used for individual gain or corporate kudos / profit. Hence this post.

As many of you will have seen Copper 3D have offered a copper impregnated material for FDM Printing of face masks, even though our own FDM printers are only used for prototypes we have spent a lot of time over the last 72 hours to try the STL files that were offered on the CU3D website for a mask, unfortunately the mask is difficult to fit and assemble, at best it fits poorly.

We have also struggled to get their copper impregnated FDM material. (We have secured a small supply of it though)

The idea of copper to destroy virus cells is a well established and well researched principle. Of course in todays fast developing global emergency its going to be hard to properly test any masks. However we feel its better to have something than nothing.

It makes good sense to have a copper surface on a well fitted mask.

So the starting point for us is a mask that fits reasonably well. Our own efforts are free to download from this link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/takagqkbc3okn6d/AAA8utezr5gqvQaYWmi0AHgPa?dl=0

If any of you guys can improve it or offer ideas for improvement then please post on here the improvements - I am certain we will all learn something from each other. sharing ideas openly.

Our next task is to try to work out how best to coat an SLA print with a copper surface, any ideas would be a great help.

We are looking at conductive coatings and using the SLA print as a base for a copper electroplated surface.

The images below show the original from CU3D, both in its printed flat form and fully assembled.

CU3D%20mask%201

The fit to the face was poor and assembly was difficult.

The design in the drop box link has a much better anatomical fit (90% of all people will find the fit is good, people who have small or very large faces will find that adjusting the face mask print by scaling up or down the STL file a few percent will achieve a good fit.

KJ3D%20mask%20faceKJ3D%20Mask%20assembled

The front, is simply secured with adhesive to the mask. The copper filter fits next and is held in by a screw fit bung (as per the CU3D design) Fixing to a face is by elastic web 15mm wide

The copper disk and surfaces shall be common to both designs.


#2

A copper coating could potentially be applied by an electroless plating process or maybe PVD but I suspect that it wouldn’t have good enough adhesion to stay stuck during flexing of the mask. That’s not to say it couldn’t be done by some clever peeps out there! Alternatively there might be some process for coating it with copper powder somehow. Possibly dipped in acetone (or some other solvent) containing the powder?

Edit: Or there might be a lacquer/paint or polymer coating containing either metallic, ionic or covalent copper compound(s) that could be applied.


#3

Thanks for the ideas. Currently we are running trials to coat surface through electroplating with 2um thick copper - as you correctly say (mrwakefield) we too wonder about the cracking, but hope that if the coat is thin enough it will it will be thick enough to have the anti viral effect of copper but flex enough to cope with the use. For the electroplating we are using a conductive paint to make the print into an electrode.

We are also looking at the possibilities of a type of powder coating using a diluted photosensitive resin (that is water / fat absorbent - in essence a hydrogel) the print is printed and cleaned up in the normal way, and then “dunked” in the thin coating resin and then plunged into a crude fluidised bed containing copper powder. (About 250um grain size) . Curing is simple after the powder coating, simple exposure to UV to effect the cure. We are hopeful that this will give a fine coating to the SLA printed part and that the coating will adhere effectively. Hopefully It will help leave a lot of the copper surface exposed and thus enabled to do its anti viral work.

To try to explain this a little better its worth looking at this video, which shows traditional powder coating. We will try replacing the heat stage of the powder coating process with UV exposure.

250um copper powder is easily available from the composite (glass fibre) industry.

For a little more info on the type of coating medium that we intend to try the video below shows a commercially available uv cured medical coating.


#4

Article published in 2015 - regarding anti viral properties of copper.

"New research from the University of Southampton has found that copper can effectively help to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, which are linked to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

Animal coronaviruses that ‘host jump’ to humans, such as SARS and MERS, result in severe infections with high mortality. The Southampton researchers found that a closely-related human coronavirus – 229E – can remain infectious on common surface materials for several days, but is rapidly destroyed on copper.

A newly-published paper in mBio – a journal of the American Society for Microbiology – reports that human coronavirus 229E, which produces a range of respiratory symptoms from the common cold to more lethal outcomes such as pneumonia, can survive on surface materials including ceramic tiles, glass, rubber and stainless steel for at least five days. While human-to-human transmission is important, infections can be contracted by touching surfaces contaminated by respiratory droplets from infected individuals, or hand touching, leading to a wider and more rapid spread

On copper, and a range of copper alloys – collectively termed ‘antimicrobial copper’ – the coronavirus was rapidly inactivated (within a few minutes, for simulated fingertip contamination). Exposure to copper destroyed the virus completely and irreversibly, leading the researchers to conclude that antimicrobial copper surfaces could be employed in communal areas and at any mass gatherings to help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses and protect public health.

Lead researcher Dr Sarah Warnes said: "Transmission of infectious diseases via contaminated surfaces is far more important than was originally thought, and this includes viruses that cause respiratory infections. This is especially important when the infectious dose is low and just a few virus particles can initiate an infection.

“Human coronavirus, which also has ancestral links with bat-like viruses responsible for SARS and MERS, was found to be permanently and rapidly deactivated upon contact with copper. What’s more, the viral genome and structure of the viral particles were destroyed, so nothing remained that could pass on an infection. With the lack of antiviral treatments, copper offers a measure that can help reduce the risk of these infections spreading.”

Speaking on the importance of the study, Professor Bill Keevil, co-author and Chair in Environmental Healthcare at the University of Southampton, said: "Respiratory viruses are responsible for more deaths, globally, than any other infectious agent. The evolution of new respiratory viruses, and the re-emergence of historic virulent strains, poses a significant threat to human health.

“The rapid inactivation and irreversible destruction of the virus observed on copper and copper alloy surfaces suggests that the incorporation of copper alloy surfaces – in conjunction with effective cleaning regimes and good clinical practice – could help control transmission of these viruses.”

Previous research by Professor Keevil and Dr Warnes has proved copper’s efficacy against norovirus, influenza and hospital superbugs, such as MRSA and Klebsiella, plus stopping the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes to other bacteria to create new superbugs."

From : www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151110102147.htm


#5


#6

Hey all!

Just wanted to chime in here, that on Thursday at 12pm EST, we’re holding a free office hours session with Sean Wise of RePliForm, a company that specializes in electroplating and coating 3D printed materials among other things.

If you’re interested in attending, or would like to leave any questions for Sean, please check out this thread. :slight_smile:


#7

I could be wrong, but I believe you need copper (or silver) nanoparticles for effective antimicrobial effect, not just bulk copper. It’s copper/silver ions that disrupt cell membranes, and you need a large surface area (nanoparticles) to generate a sufficient amount of ions for an effective microbial effect.


#8

We did a lot of reading of research papers, what was common through out was that Copper is significantly better than silver in destroying virus rather bacteria.

This is quite an interesting paper on the mechanism that destroys the virus - it suggests that copper dissolves from the surface and this ruptures the virus cell membrane.

To quote from the paper:

"Recent studies showed that large amounts of copper ions were taken up by E. coli over 90 min, when cells were applied to copper coupons in a standing drop. When cells were plated on copper by the dry method, the accumulation of copper ions by cells was even more dramatic, reaching a low molar concentration, or 27-fold the level observed by wet plating, in a fraction of the time. The copper ion level of cells remained high throughout the killing phase, suggesting that cells become overwhelmed by their intracellular copper (11). Another factor that influences cell survival on metallic copper is oxidative stress. Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is probably mediated by redox cycling between the different copper species, Cu(0), Cu(I), and Cu(II). The absence of oxygen did not inhibit contact killing of E. coli but doubled the time required for complete killing of 109 cells from 1 to 2 min in the dry plating method (13). This indicates that stress caused by reactive oxygen species is another factor contributing to contact killing.

The fate of DNA during contact killing by copper has also been investigated. According to one study, DNA is a major target of copper toxicity, leading to rapid DNA fragmentation and cell death (39). This contrasts with recent findings by Espirito Santo et al., which suggest that the primary damage to cells in contact killing is membrane damage (11). It is likely that DNA damage ensues only as a secondary event following cell death. It could be shown that membrane damage by copper was not accompanied by an increase in the mutation rate or DNA fragmentation. Deinococcus radiodurans is a bacterium that is exceptionally resistant to ionizing radiation because of its ability to repair even highly fragmented DNA. Remarkably, D. radiodurans was as sensitive as E. coli to contact killing by copper (11). At the current state of knowledge, it appears that contact killing proceeds by successive membrane damage, copper influx into the cells, oxidative damage, cell death, and DNA degradation (cf. Fig. ​Fig.1).1). Clearly, this sequence of events is still tentative, and further work on contact killing is required to offer more-detailed molecular insight into the process."


#9

Thanks - Look forward to listening to the presentation


#11

Professor Nirmal Kumar, consultant otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon, said the nose was main entry point for the virus when we breathe in droplets infected with coronavirus.


#12

We looked forward to the presentation on plating, sadly we were not able to join it.

From the UK the message we got when following the link given in an email from Formlabs was this:

Which is a shame as it would have been great to listen an/or participate.

We use Zoom a lot - so that was not the problem


#13

I’m curious why cold casting with copper dust hasn’t been brought up? Using a semi rigid Silicon and copper might be a solution. I’d imagine this was brought up somewhere before but I don’t see that on these forums and others. Thoughts?

Stay well!

P.S. is there a link to the cotton swab 3D print file?


#14

Hi Jason,

Good point, we are currently looking at coating the print with a UV cured hydrogel and then effectively powder coating in a fluidised bath using copper Nano powder (50nm grain size). The good news is that universities in the UK have shown great support for the work and are able to provide effective assessment of the efficiency of the different techniques.

We have various materials here for the production of the hydrogel and are working on getting the right viscosity / surface flow and adhesion on the finished print

We eventually were able to watch the Formlabs seminar recording and found it a help with regards the study of the electroplating of prints.


#15

That Copper 3D mask design is horrible and mostly just a ploy to sell their filament.
It’s fit is atrocious, and sealing is nonexistant.

Copper is also useless for most coronaviruses, as they’ll survive up to 4 hours on copper surfaces.


#16

https://www.livescience.com/how-long-coronavirus-last-surfaces.html does in deed say Covid-19 on copper up to 4 hrs.


#17

On non copper surfaces the virus has been shown to survive for weeks…

I agree, the fit of the Copper3D mask seems terrible. I did look at the STL files KJ3D did (earlier post on this thread) and that seems a much better fit.

A newly-published paper in mBio – a journal of the American Society for Microbiology – reports that human coronavirus 229E, which produces a range of respiratory symptoms from the common cold to more lethal outcomes such as pneumonia, can survive on surface materials including ceramic tiles, glass, rubber and stainless steel for at least five days. While human-to-human transmission is important, infections can be contracted by touching surfaces contaminated by respiratory droplets from infected individuals, or hand touching, leading to a wider and more rapid spread

On copper, and a range of copper alloys – collectively termed ‘antimicrobial copper’ – the coronavirus was rapidly inactivated (within a few minutes, for simulated fingertip contamination). Exposure to copper destroyed the virus completely and irreversibly, leading the researchers to conclude that antimicrobial copper surfaces could be employed in communal areas and at any mass gatherings to help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses and protect public health.


#18

Copper can be toxic and cause severe allergic reactions.

A face mask made of fabric that is sterilized (boiled) after use is quite effective and simple protection against inhalation of droplets in the air. It also reduces the spread of viruses from the carrier.

Better think about the support for the construction of breathing machines.


#19

I agree that the breathing machines are vitally important - its difficult to see how Form Labs printers are going to make an in road towards them. Some very large companies globally have stepped up and are very close to rolling out production.

With regards copper toxicity, many of us wear copper bands without adverse effect - how is that?

With regards the fabric face mask there is lots in the media about how its very ineffective against Covid 19, mainly due to how long Covid 19 lives when on cloth

These articles are quite interesting:

To quote part of the first article:

Copper is one of those nine minerals that are recognized as essential nutrients for humans, as it plays a crucial role in different physiological normal processes in basically all human tissues [21], as well as in the skin [22]. The body of a 70-kg healthy individual has about 110 mg of copper, 50% of which is found in the bones and muscles, 15% in the skin, 15% in the bone marrow, 10% in the liver and 8% in the brain [23]. The uptake, distribution to different tissues, secretion of excess, and metabolism of copper, are very precise and efficient coordinated events [23, 24]. Copper is naturally found in many food sources such as meats, vegetables and grains, and the recommended daily intake of copper for adults is ~1 mg [22, 25].

In the skin, copper a) stimulates dermal fibroblasts proliferation [26] (Fig. ​11); b) upregulates collagen (types I, II, and V) and elastin fiber components (elastin, fibrillins) production by fibroblasts [27] (Fig. ​22), seemingly through the induction of TGF-β [27]; c) stimulates HSp-47, essential to collagen fibril formation [27]; d) serves as a cofactor of LOX needed for efficient ECM protein cross-linking [10]; e) stabilizes the skin ECM once formed, as increased crosslinking of collagen and elastin matrices occurs in a copper dose dependant manner [28, 29]; f) serves as a cofactor of superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant enzyme present in the skin, important for protection against free radicals [30, 31]; g) inhibits cellular oxidative effects such as membrane damage and lipid peroxidation [27]; and h) serves as a cofactor of tyrosinase, a melanin biosynthesis essential enzyme responsible for skin and hair pigmentation [32, 33].

The second article talks about how cloth face masks being worn by an infected person help stop them passing it on. rather than helping PROTECT the person wearing it


#20

Most of the larger particles with viruses are bound in the outer layers of material when breathing. This helps to keep a large part of the viruses away from your own body.

After wearing, take off the mask and wash yourself.

The lifespan of viruses on fabric is a few seconds if the fabric mask is steamed in a pressure cooker. After this treatment, the mask can be used again.

A healthy body has a highly specialized, effective and multi-level defense system against such pathogens. Only when too many penetrate the body can complications arise.

Fabric mask manufacturing time: less than 10 minutes
Manufacturing costs: very low
Sterilization: simple and quick

Show me a 3D printed mask that can top that.


#21

Its interesting to see that Donald Trump is advising people to use scarves:

Coronavirus: Trump says wear scarves as face masks to fight COVID-19 ‘plague’

Donald Trump has warned Americans to expect a “painful two weeks” as coronavirus deaths in the US peak - before suggesting people wear scarves as face masks in the fight against the virus.
In a briefing at the White House, the US president branded COVID-19 “a plague” and urged people to follow social distancing guidelines which have been extended until the end of April.

At Tuesday’s briefing, Mr Trump called COVID-19 an “invisible enemy” and said the US government was holding back 10,000 ventilators ahead of an expected “surge” in cases.
“This is going to be three weeks like we haven’t seen before,” he added.
Mr Trump also claimed Americans could use scarves as face masks during the coronavirus pandemic