UChicago Technical COVID-19 Response Team

The UChicago Technical COVID-19 Response Team is comprised of faculty, staff, and students from all across campus (PSD, PME, MRSEC, BSD, UCMC, Arts, ANL, Polsky, Booth) working together to solve urgent technical engineering problems to improve COVID-19 outcomes. We have scientific expertise, design and rapid fabrication capabilities, and connections to like-minded networks worldwide. If you need help or would like to propose a project, please contact us.

Download our one-page information sheet (PDF)

Current Projects

We adapted a 3D printable design for hands-free door openers from Materialise to use #8-32 hardware and laser-cut silicone rubber grip strips. Tests with 3D printed prototypes led to cast aluminum parts with the help of Leitelt Bros. Foundry. About 100 are currently installed in the University of Chicago Medical Center.

3D Printed Hands-Free Door Opener

Evaluation of best practices for UV, hydrogen peroxide vapor, and heat/humidity.

Project Summary and recommendations available are available at N95DECON.

N95DECON is a scientific consortium for data-driven recommendations for N95 mask decontamination.

UChicago News Release

N95 Decon logo

We created two designs for N95 mask alternatives:

  •  Anesthesia mask with 3D printed adapter for HEPA filter or viral/bacterial filter (FDA approved components). Based on an idea by Boston Children's Hospital

    Anesthesia mask with HEPA filters

  • 3M 6200 facemask with 3D-printable HEPA filter adapter

    3M 6200 facemask

Download zip file containing 3D printable adapter designs and additional information


Mask designs are provided for informational purposes only. Performance of designs have not been validated and may not be comparable to standard certified N95 masks. Designs are provided 'as-is' with no endorsements and no explicit or implied warranties. End users assume all risks and responsibilities associated with use.

These are not final solutions, nor have these adapters been approved for medical use. All regulatory guidelines should be followed related to PPE use, and employers are required under OSHA to provide appropriate PPE for their workers. The devices described herein fall under guidance from the US FDA (FDA-2020-D-1138) “Enforcement Policy for Face Masks and Respirators During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency” that is specific to the current COVID-19 pandemic: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FDA-2020-D-1138.

Please see further information and licensing agreement included in the zip file.

We consulted on the design and fabrication of protective boxes for use during patient intubation procedures created for UCMC by Hero Solutions - Shield Project.

Evaluation and recommendations for open-source faceshield designs created for UCMC by mHub and others.

We are evaluating dual and quad ventilator mutliplexers at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Parts were 3D printed from designs by Colorado Makers Unite.

Ventilator splitter 3D printed

We evaluated options for creating custom NP swabs in-house and 3D printed NP swabs from several sources.

We are currently monitoring the Covid19-NP Swab manufacturing project.

The CDC now recommends that the general public wear homemade cloth masks to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

  • CDC recommended for all public settings.

  • DIY masks preferable to reserve medical masks for healthcare workers.

  • Cloth face coverings should be snug, secure, and not hamper breathing.

Below we link to designs that you may want to use, including no-sew masks. You can also find homemade masks on websites like Etsy.

Wearing simple cloth masks can prevent people who are infected – even if they are asymptomatic – from sending infectious droplets out into the air. They also provide limited protection to the wearer against larger droplets in the air. By wearing a cloth mask, you are protecting everyone around you, and also protecting yourself.

We are asking everyone to wear homemade or alternative cloth masks because it is critically important that medical / surgical masks remain available for healthcare workers.

Several designs for both sew and no-sew facemasks are available from the CDC.

#GetUsPPE has many design options as well.

Contact Us

We are here to help solve urgent problems. Please send requests for technical help, expertise, and project proposals to: covidtechassist@lists.uchicago.edu and we will let you know how we can help.


Projects described above are works in progress, and are provided for informational purposes only with no endorsements and no explicit or implied warranties. End users assume all risks and responsibilities associated with use.

More specifically: Disclaimer of Warranties; Limitation of Liability. 
a.    The above Projects have not been tested or approved by the FDA or other regulators and should NOT be used as a replacement for commercially available conventional personal protective equipment required or recommended for use in clinical or other applicable settings. The Projects have not been industry tested or approved by governmental authorities nor have they been tested for safety or efficacy in a clinical setting. The University of Chicago cannot provide any assurance of the safety or efficacy of the Projects.
b.    The Projects are provided as-is and with all faults. All use thereof is at your sole risk and that of any subsequent Project user. None of the University, the University of Chicago Medical Center or any of their respective affiliates, employees, officers, directors or trustees (collectively, “University Persons”) make any representations or warranties of any kind concerning the Projects, whether express or implied. Without limiting the foregoing, the University, on behalf of itself and the University Persons, hereby disclaims all warranties of title, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, absence of defects, or the absence of errors. 
c.    In no event will the University, or any of the University Persons, be liable to you or any other person, including other subsequent Project users, based on any legal theory (including, without limitation, negligence) or otherwise for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential, punitive, exemplary or other damages, losses, costs, or expenses arising out of, or otherwise in connection with, your use or other exploitation of the Projects.