Using new technologies, their scientific training and with the satisfaction of making a positive contribution, hundreds of young scientists and volunteers are 'equipping' the country's doctors and health centres with protective masks to protect workers in the country's hospitals. There are many encouraging examples that are giving hope and life, lessening the uncertainty and fear which has been caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in all societies around the world. Some of the initiatives of the Greek scientific personnel researching, designing and producing practical solutions for dealing with critical problems caused by COVID-19, are presented below.
3d-makers.gov.gr, an initiative of the Ministries of Digital Governance and Health, acts as a bridge between the urgent needs that exist today in the field of Health and potential solutions by creating and providing equipment developed by initiatives from citizens, groups and organisations that are daily assisting as 3d-makers in the effort to stop the pandemic in Greece. Based on the dissemination and teaching of digital skills through the application of crowdsourcing at the state level, the initiative aims to create a framework which will strengthen the country's digital transformation in the long-term.
The 'makers community' is invited to participate in the production of the necessary equipment, manufacturing face protection shields and hands-free knobs- 'Materialise'. The site provides detailed instructions and specifications to ensure the availability of adequate protection for health workers during the pandemic. Those who wish to contribute to the production of this equipment should indicate the types and quantity they can produce, as well as the time of delivery. Following shipment to the Central Material Warehouse of the Ministry of Health from where it will be distributed to the country's health units. To date, the initiative has attracted more than 120 expressions of interest.
The Prusa face shield is a type of enlarged face mask that covers the entire face, has an ergonomic design and is reusable after being appropriately disinfected, the absolute necessity of which is highly stressed by the manufacturer. It is composed of three elements: the main frame produced in the 3D printer (.stl file), a jelly, which can be cut by hand or on a cutting machine eg laser cutter (.dxf file), and a connecting element, eg rubber.
Find out more: https://3d-makers.gov.gr/
COVID-19 Response Greece
The new voluntary action COVID-19 Response Greece was set up by scientists and startups in Thessaloniki with a technological and scientific background, aiming to design practical and immediately applicable solutions to address the critical issues arising from the pandemic. In less than a week from the start of the operation, COVID-19 Response Greece volunteers were able to find design solutions and production tools to mass-produce, in quantities of thousands of pieces per day, a substitute for face shield protection.
Their construction was based on the open and free plans created by the volunteers of the COVID-19 Response Greece action, from the food packaging materials industry in the Pella area. Small-scale shields have been produced free of charge by volunteers at AHEPA Hospital, the General Hospital of Kastoria and the Ippocrateio General Hospital. The great response to the initiative resulted in the design and delivery of 30,000 face shields to 76 destinations throughout Greece within 3 weeks.
In addition to face shields, the team is working on other projects, such as respirators, non-invasive ventilation device replacements for patients, and software tools such as an online self-assessment system & remote monitoring for those with possible symptoms. Also, online platforms for entertaining children aged 5-12 at home, as well as for webinars by mental health professionals. The community of COVID-19 Response Greece has already more than 270 members and is open to anyone who has the will, training and time to contribute to this collective effort as well as the competent authorities, bodies and professionals in the health sector who can point out critical problems and needs so that solutions can be designed immediately.
Find out more: https://www.covid19response.gr/
National Technical University of Athens scientific team
The NTUA is also participating in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, constructing and delivering prefabricated face shields to the 'Evangelismos' and 'Sotiria' hospitals. The design and implementation of the production is being carried out by the scientific team, researchers and students of the Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology (RNanolab) of the School of Chemical Engineering with the assistance of the Laboratory of the School of Mechanical Engineering and the Modeling Laboratory of the School of Architectural Engineering.
In addition, the 3DP-NTUA hub member, laboratories and teams are planning to produce a wider range of health products by using more three-dimensional printing units. All actions are being carried out in close co-operation with the medical staff of leading hospital units. The NTUA has the necessary equipment, experience and know-how to produce 3D printed plastic components (PLA, PETG for the main parts and transparent PC sheets, PET for the front cover) necessary assemblies and missing health equipment (multi-purpose masks with filters, respirators for ICU, etc.) within a short time.
Find out more: https://bit.ly/2VtrxOn
Technical University of Crete scientific team
The scientific team of the Technical University of Crete are using 3D printing to manufacture face shields, which are available in hospitals in Crete, such as the General Hospital of Chania 'Agios Georgios', the Venizelio Hospital of Heraklion, the Naval Hospital of Crete and other bodies, such as the Municipalities of Chania and Rethymno for the 'Help at Home' programme. By 16/04/2020, a total of 362 Thorax_TUC protective covers had been manufactured and delivered.
The laboratories of the Technical University of Crete, in particular the Laboratory of Computer Design (CAD), the Laboratory of Digital Construction and Rapid Prototyping, the Laboratory of Structured Environment and Energy Management, as well as the TUCER Research Team are participating in the collective effort.
The team designed and manufactured Thorax_TUC face shields to meet some of the increased needs created by the pandemic. Thorax_TUC face shields are based on the corresponding design of Josef Prusa and are specially designed to protect health professionals, they have an ergonomic and simple design consisting of minimal components for economical and fast construction, using the 3D printing method. The protective mask is used as an aid in the work of professionals. The designs and files for printing are available in a public repository, ready for immediate printing on a 3D printer.
Find out more: https://bit.ly/3bEB6Qe
University of Ioannina scientific team
The University of Ioannina is also implementing an effort to support the public health system, taking advantage of 3D printing for the construction of face masks to shield the health personnel of the University Hospital of Ioannina.
Using the resources and equipment of the Foundation's laboratories, the first high quality prints have already been completed and the gradual delivery of the equipment to support the work of the nursing and medical staff of the University Hospital of Ioannina has begun. This dynamic process requires constant updating and improvement of the parameters of printing and material designs in order to save valuable time and increase the production rate.
Find out more: https://bit.ly/34Z2jua
Hellas COVID19 3D Printing Supplies
In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the voluntary group of 3D printers of protective shields prints protective shields for the country's medical and nursing staff. With a team of about 1,850 members, there is a total of 350-370 3D printers available to print this personal protection following a design approved by the Ministry of Health.
From the moment the team was created, the response from those who have 3D printers and from people who want to help with sponsorships has been immense. There is also great interest from organisations that need shields in their daily battle with the virus. The team includes about 70 professionals and 205 non professionals. The shield consists of 4 parts: the upper and lower plastic sections (this is printed by 3D printers), the rubber, the membrane (Gelatin of specific specifications and thickness). After printing the top and bottom sections, the volunteers send them to the team in Athens where they are packaged (along with the rubber and the film) ready to be sent to the Ministry.
Find out more: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2867852269960154/
The National Documentation Centre (EKT), as a body for disseminating knowledge and responding to new conditions, provides valid and timely information for the research community and anyone interested in the development of scientific research to combat the pandemic. Through EKT's communication channels and the new website it has created (http://www.ekt.gr/covid-19), EKT continues to provide targeted scientific knowledge and information related to the new coronavirus and COVID-19 disease. To view similar actions and initiatives, email firstname.lastname@example.org.