The CoMFRE team publishes a review of respiratory protective device research – the past and the future


An interdisciplinary team of CoMFRE affiliates led by Guowen’s song, professor of apparel, events and hotel management and Noma Scott Lloyd Chair in Textiles and Apparel, published a review article in Polymers on Respiratory Protective Device (RPD) research.

The article, titled “What We’re Learning from COVID-19 for Respiratory Protection: Contemporary and Emerging Issues,” summarizes previous research on the effectiveness of respiratory protective devices and identifies current and future new research in the area of ​​respiratory protection. RPD.

Song’s author team covers issues related to the performance and comfort of the RPD, as well as user behavior that influences the effectiveness of the PRD. They also discuss numerical modeling approaches to simulate the use of RPDs and inform the design, development and policy of RPDs – and discuss the decontamination and reuse of RPDs. With an eye to the future, the team suggests further RPD research, including new materials and next-generation designs.

“RPDs are crucial for us during this pandemic, and this work provides valuable information on the knowledge gaps identified and future directions with diverse perspectives,” Song said.

In addition to Song, the authors of the article include Lizhi wang, professor of industrial systems and manufacturing engineering; Alberto Passalacqua, affiliated with CoMFRE and associate professor of mechanical engineering; Shankar Subramaniam, affiliated with CoMFRE and professor of mechanical engineering; Rui li, associate research professor in clothing, events and hospitality management; Mengying Zhang, former postdoctoral researcher in clothing, events and hotel management; Yulin Wu, graduate student in clothing, events and hospitality management; Liwen wang, graduate student in clothing, events and hotel management: James lang, assistant professor of kinesiology, as well as collaborators from the University of California, Davis and Oklahoma State University.

The author team state that the study of RPD (PPE) requires an interdisciplinary approach, which is reflected in the collaborative nature of this work and other CoMFRE research efforts.

“CoMFRE provides a crucial shared ‘home’ for researchers from different disciplines who can come together to address pressing issues in multiple streams, including the current challenges we face in PDRs,” said Song.

The team’s work was supported by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the Occupational Safety and Health Research Program and by the Office of the Vice President of Research of the Iowa State University. Presidential Interdisciplinary Research Initiative.


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