N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) and surgical masks are essential in reducing airborne disease transmission, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, currently available FFR's and masks have major limitations, including masking facial features, waste, and integrity after decontamination. In a multi-institutional trial, we evaluated a transparent, elastomeric, adaptable, long-lasting (TEAL) respirator to evaluate success of qualitative fit test with user experience and biometric evaluation of temperature, respiratory rate, and fit of respirator using a novel sensor. There was a 100% successful fit test among participants, with feedback demonstrating excellent or good fit (90% of participants), breathability (77.5%), and filter exchange (95%). Biometric testing demonstrated significant differences between exhalation and inhalation pressures among a poorly fitting respirator, well-fitting respirator, and the occlusion of one filter of the respirator. We have designed and evaluated a transparent elastomeric respirator and a novel biometric feedback system that could be implemented in the hospital setting.
© 2020 American Chemical Society.