University of Hertfordshire vs. Covis-19

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

By Chloe Olivia Sladden

In the last month, the University if Hertfordshire has made many contributions to support the Covid-19 effort in the Hertfordshire area, according to university press releases. Trident Meida has complied a round up of what our university has contributed to the Covid-19 Efforts, since lockdown began.

Hand Sanitiser Production

Herts University has utilised their Biodeterioration Centre to produce 35 litres of hand santiser (based on the formulation suggested by WHO) to the Herts County Council efforts against Covid-19.

Promise Promo and Britvic donated over 700 bottles so far, for the hand santiser produced. The team who made the santiser are working on producing more santiser to meet increased demands in Hertfordshire.

Dean of School of Life and Medical Sciences, Dr Richard Southern commented: “This is an example of an outstanding team effort in responding to a call to action and using our technical expertise for the greater good. I know that the product will help ensure vital NHS and social care staff are able to continue to work safely. I’m extremely proud of my team and their efforts.”

Face Shields Production

The university sourced 16 3D Printers to produce Face Shields for the NHS, which were donated to and distributed by Hertfordshire County Council. After hearing of the PPE shortages, Herts Uni began to create gave face Shields as well as hand santiser, to provide for supplies for key workers.

Councillor Tim Hutchings, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention at Hertfordshire County Council, said: [He is] “immensely grateful to The University of Hertfordshire for continuing to show its determination to go above and beyond in helping protect our frontline health and care staff by now providing face shields. These face shields can be important in situations when patients are coughing or need close personal care and will protect crucial health and social care staff from infection.”

The interdepartmental team put together by the university included members from the schools of Engineering and Computer Science; Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics; Creative Arts and Life and Medical Sciences.

The teams used the 3D Printers to produce a Prusa design, by layering Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. Afterwards an transparent shield was created by adding an acetate sheet.

Dean of the School of Creative Arts, Phil Healey commented on the university’s use of 3D printers to create the shields: “ This is an excellent example of how creative design skills can be used to produce practical equipment to help in the battle against the virus. I’m proud of the commitment of technical colleagues in the School using their expertise to help respond to the national emergency.”

Specialist Measures to Test PPE Equipment 

A Toxiology Research Group has tested various PPE Equipment to discover their effectiveness of protecting users from Cornavirus exposure. These tests have been carried out as traditional methods did not consider how effect the PPE was, based on how a user wore it or what happened when they performed everyday tasks such as bending or lifitng.

When carrying out tests, researchers replicated the PPE exposure to the virus through dispersing an common salt nanoparticle aerosol of common salt in different types of environmental conditions. Specialist dosimeters and the ELPI+ fine particle analyser were used to ensure efficient and accurate results from the the tests.

Rodney Day, Dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science, Physics, Astronomy and Maths at the University of Hertfordshire, commented: “It’s heartening to witness. The university has worked alongisde experts from Scielutions Limited and Dekati Ltd to develop their PPE testing methods.

As the university continues to contribute to the county’s Covid-19 efforts, I would like to thank all the hard working, dedicated and caring people at the University of Hertfordshire, who are using their skills to help fight Covid-19 in Hertfordshire.

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