Additive Manufacturing for COVID-19

MRS Communications Publishes New Peer-reviewed Prospective Article

Newswise — The current COVID-19 pandemic, and the worldwide emergency response, is unmatched in recent memory. Scientists and epidemiologists are learning in real time how the virus spreads and what is needed to mitigate exposure. While protection of frontline health care workers is of primary importance, shortages of medical and Personal Protective Devices (PPEs) such as masks, suits, face-shields, as well as critical clinical care equipment such as ventilators, respirators, and other medical devices, are of global concern. Efforts to produce and stockpile adequate supplies, while at the same time managing quarantine and lockdown orders, have produced a tremendous strain in economic activity and has affected the supply chain for equipment and components, exposing the need for new manufacturing models.

A new Prospective article—Additive Manufacturing for COVID-19: Devices, Materials, Prospects and Challenges—published in MRS Communications, looks at these critical supply issues and provides an overview of 3D printing and how coupling the tools in additive manufacturing (AM) and advanced materials has provided a viable alternative for rapid production and distribution of PPEs and medical devices. Authors include MRS Communications Editor-in-Chief Rigoberto C. Advincula, University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory; John Ryan C. Dizon, Bataan Peninsula State University; Qiyi Chen, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and Ivy Niu, Jason Chung, Lucas Kilpatrick and Reagan Newman, all of University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

According to the authors, this Open Access prospective article “gives an unprecedented picture of the 3D printing ecosystem and how it can be used to meet national and worldwide emergency needs such as a pandemic. Addressing the supply chain for PPEs, devices and medical consumables in this pandemic has shown the importance of AM in bringing together the academic and industry communities to help the needs. Moreover, it has shown the true potential for rapid prototyping, manufacturing, and repair in real time.”

Advincula adds that “we are now seeing increased volunteerism in many 3D printing focus groups, universities, companies, and others to provide for emergency needs of frontline workers and hospitals. A new model has emerged in that design, materials, distributed manufacturing, repairs and rapid deployment will be used for risk mitigation for many emergency situations.” For additional insights on this research by Advincula, view this video.

MRS Communications is a full-color, high-impact journal focused on rapid publication of completed research with broad appeal to the materials community. It offers a rapid but rigorous peer-review process and time to publication. Leveraging its access to the far-reaching technical expertise of MRS members and leading materials researchers from around the world, the journal boasts an experienced and highly respected board of principal editors and reviewers.

Prospective articles are a unique feature of MRS Communications, offering succinct and forward-looking reviews of topics of interest to a broad materials research readership. Authoritative and balanced, they may deal with controversies or new and speculative areas of research for future consideration. Most Prospective articles are invited by the editorial board. However, interested authors can complete a proposal form and submit to


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Newswise: Historical Racial & Ethnic Health Inequities Account for Disproportionate COVID-19 Impact
22-Sep-2020 4:00 PM EDT
Historical Racial & Ethnic Health Inequities Account for Disproportionate COVID-19 Impact
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

A new Viewpoint piece published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society examines the ways in which COVID-19 disproportionately impacts historically disadvantaged communities of color in the United States, and how baseline inequalities in our health system are amplified by the pandemic. The authors also discuss potential solutions.

Released: 24-Sep-2020 5:05 PM EDT
In-person college instruction leading to thousands of COVID-19 cases per day in US
University of Washington

Reopening university and college campuses with primarily in-person instruction is associated with a significant increase in cases of COVID-19 in the counties where the schools are located.

Newswise: Some Severe COVID-19 Cases Linked to Genetic Mutations or Antibodies that Attack the Body
Released: 24-Sep-2020 3:25 PM EDT
Some Severe COVID-19 Cases Linked to Genetic Mutations or Antibodies that Attack the Body
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Two new studies offer an explanation for why COVID-19 cases can be so variable. A subset of patients has mutations in key immunity genes; other patients have auto-antibodies that target the same components of the immune system. Both circumstances could contribute to severe forms of the disease.

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Embargo will expire: 25-Sep-2020 6:30 PM EDT Released to reporters: 24-Sep-2020 3:20 PM EDT

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17-Sep-2020 1:15 PM EDT
Accuracy of commercial antibody kits for SARS-CoV-2 varies widely

There is wide variation in the performance of commercial kits for detecting antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), according to a study published September 24 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Jonathan Edgeworth and Blair Merrick of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Suzanne Pickering and Katie Doores of King's College London, and colleagues. As noted by the authors, the rigorous comparison of antibody testing platforms will inform the deployment of point-of-care technologies in healthcare settings and their use in monitoring SARS-CoV-2 infections.

24-Sep-2020 9:25 AM EDT
Loneliness levels high during COVID-19 lockdown
Newswise Review

During the initial phase of COVID-19 lockdown, rates of loneliness among people in the UK were high and were associated with a number of social and health factors, according to a new study published this week in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jenny Groarke of Queen’s University Belfast, UK, and colleagues.

Newswise: Genetic, immunological abnormalities in Type I interferon pathway are risk factors for severe COVID-19
24-Sep-2020 12:35 PM EDT
Genetic, immunological abnormalities in Type I interferon pathway are risk factors for severe COVID-19
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU)

Individuals with severe forms of COVID-19 disease can present with compromised type I interferon (IFN) responses based on their genetics, according to results published in two papers today in the journal Science. Type I IFN responses are critical for protecting cells and the body from more severe disease after acute viral infection.

Newswise: Talking Alone: Researchers Use Artificial Intelligence Tools to Predict Loneliness
Released: 24-Sep-2020 1:45 PM EDT
Talking Alone: Researchers Use Artificial Intelligence Tools to Predict Loneliness
University of California San Diego Health

A team led by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine has used artificial intelligence technologies to analyze natural language patterns to discern degrees of loneliness in older adults.

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