The MTC has developed and created a second generation of the hugely successful Aerosol Generating Procedure (AGP) Shield by continuing to innovate on a version created in April 2020, following the COVID-19 epidemic.
Funded by Innovate UK, the primary aim of the project was to improve build quality and manufacturability. This has involved engagement with new and existing supply chain partners to update designs and produce tooling that will allow a smooth increase to high volume production, should the demand arise.
Identified as an opportunity to reduce the exposure our healthcare workers face when treating patients, the enhancement offers a number of benefits, including a substantial weight reduction, improved visual clarity, and improved ease of use.
The development follows a successful round of trials and evaluation on the original production units that were created as part of a collaboration between the MTC, Rolls-Royce and Dr Ian Renfrew, Consultant Interventional Radiologist at BARTS alongside Dr Paolo Perella, Anaesthetic Registrar at Royal London Hospital. This project has also received support from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
In collaboration with partners, an improvement has been made to the vacuum form tooling design, enabling production of robust shields with improved consistency in wall thickness, and better surface finish and optical clarity.
At just under 4.5kg the new units also offer a considerable reduction in weight. This means the shield is more than 50 percent lighter than its original 9kg counterpart, making it easier and safer for healthcare professionals to handle. The improved design allows the shields to be stacked on top of one another, reducing the amount of storage space required when the units are not in use, and reduces transport costs for distribution.
The MTC has commissioned tooling to produce repeatable, highly accurate silicone parts for the shield access flaps with reduced cost per unit. Significant work has also been carried out to design and develop an improved fastener that meets the requirements of a secure connection, ease of assembly, part-count reduction, and reduction in ‘dirt-traps’ which makes cleaning the interior of the shield easier.
The MTC is preparing the first consignment of production quality shields ready for dispatch to hospital intensive care units (ITU’s) and theatres, for the next round of clinical evaluations. Medical professionals interested in the AGP Shield, and taking part in this evaluation, should contact the MTC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Width: 642mm, Depth: 656mm, Height: 566mm
Flaps: Silicone Rubber
Fasteners: LDPE and NylonPA66
A CFD study, completed by Arup in May 2020, analyses the spread and movement of the virus droplets and aerosol airpaths within the AGP shield. The project was also featured in the British Journal of Anaesthesia in November 2020. You can read the full publications using the document links below.