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COVID-19 Innovation Teams

The Vertically Integrated Projects Program and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences is calling on students to innovate solutions to urgent needs of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are working closely with Stony Brook's Renaissance School of Medicine to identify the needs of our health care professionals and their patients.  This page highlights some key needs and provides resources for those who can contribute.

We invite the entire Stony Brook University community to participate in the discussion at the SBU Student Innovation Slack Workspace. 

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Respirators (N95 Masks)

N95 masks are in short supply.  While manufacturing has been increased, the storage of raw materials (e.g. melt-blown fabric) will limit the rate of production.  It is a near certainty that demand will not be met.  Hospitals are now saving used masks for cleaning and the CDC has updated its recommendations to suggest heath care professionals might use homemade masks when no masks are available.  This opens the door for engineers and applied scientists to innovate suitable replacements to N95 masks. We call on student teams to prototype and test replacements.  Teams may submit details of the design, testing procedure, and results on the efficacy of the prototype.  Submissions will be reviewed by a team of physicians and engineering professionals.  Successful teams will be asked to provide detailed fabrication instructions for use by health care professionals and the general public.


With the acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS) caused by COVID-19, there is growing demand for ventilators and other respiratory devices.  If mitigation strategies are not successful, the need for ventilators will exceed the supply and death rates will rise.  We call on teams of students to generate ideas and designs for a minimally viable ventilator (MVV) to augment the supply of commercial ventilators.  An MVV will be a simple, robust design that is easy to fabricate and relatively inexpensive.  The device would be usable for the least severe cases to free up the full capabilities of commercial ventilators for the more critical patients.  We will help teams to promote unique ideas and promising designs.  Use in the US will require the collaboration of manufacturer and Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA.  In addition to possible emergency use in the US, teams may consider devices intended for developing countries and off-grid locations outside of the US.  

Face Shields

Face shields provide front, side, and top protection against fuild dropets that may containt pathogens.  There is a simple open source design available for companies who can mass produce face shields. CEAS and the Hospital are working with  a local plastics company in East Islip who is tooling up to make 40,000 face shields per day.  Other companies across the country are doing the same.  As we expect manufactures to be able to meet demand,  students should not work on face shield design and/or manufacturing.

Wearable Hand/Glove Sanitizer Pouch

Design and prototype a wearable device for health care professionals to quickly sanitize gloved or ungloved hands. Health care workers would easily insert hands into a pouch of hand sanitizer and easily remove them.  The pouch will remove excess santizer.  The design should be spill- and leak-proof.  

Wearable Face Mask Storage Clamshell

Due to the N95 Face Mask storage, health care workers are trying to maintain a single mask for an entire shift.  When not in use, masks must be safely stored to avoid cross-contamination.  Design and prototype a storage clamshell that securely holds an N95 face mask and is breathable to allow elimination of excess moisture.  The clamshell should be wearable and rigid to protect against damage and contamination. 

Open Source Medical Information Database for Pandemic Research

The corona virus pandemic is raging worldwide. In the United States, the NY/NJ/CT tri-state area has become a major epicenter. Stony Brook University Hospital has seen over 2000 patients with coronavirus-like symptoms and this number is expected to grow. Gathering a wealth of data about the pandemic will serve as a valuable data source for scientific analysis of pandemics and their impact on health care ranging from patient care and hospital resource utilization at one level to their spread across communities, regions and countries at another level.  This project will be building such a database from a variety of sources, namely, (i) from patent data gathered at SBU hospital; (ii) from various other data sets that are provided by health organizations such as WHO and academic institutions such as Johns Hopkins University; (iii) from social media posts such as Facebook and Twitter.  Prof I.V. Ramakrishnan of Computer Science is willing to provide direction for students interested in this work.

Other Needs:

  • GIVE BLOOD:    The Stony Brook University Hospital  Blood  Bank  annouced  a critical need for blood products due to the heightened focus on the Coronavirus. The American Red Cross and the New York Blood Supply have seen a growing number of cancelled blood drives resulting in a diminished blood supply. It is, therefore, in the best interest of our Hospital to maintain a stable blood supply, especially in times of crisis.   Please schedule an appointment to donate  blood or platelets today.