CAE’s Tao Shen Designs Device to Fight COVID-19

CAE’s Tao Shen Designs Device to Fight COVID-19
Shen Tao
Medical experts grappling with millions of COVID-19-affected Americans are desperate for ways to keep themselves safe while treating patients. With the number of ill citizens climbing, the need to preserve medical staff health is paramount.

Robotics expert Tao Shen, Ph.D., assistant professor, College of Aeronautics and Engineering (CAE), was approached by Summa Health System Hospital at Akron to design a device that can be used to more safely obtain nose and throat swabs for COVID-19 testing, minimizing the risk of medical workers’ exposure.

Shen and his mechatronics engineering students quickly generated several potential design concepts.

“We are positioned with both talent and state-of-the art facilities to be a positive force against COVID-19,” says Christina Bloebaum, Ph.D., dean, CAE. “I’m very proud of our faculty and students who have stepped-up to make a difference.”

Researchers at Summa Health are very interested in a key design. Next steps include fabricating a 3D prototype of the device using CAE laboratories for optimization. Shen and the Ohio-based hospital system are also looking into potential manufacturers to produce the final product. Shen’s patent-pending invention is a self-collected swab.

After a 3D device prototype is created, Shen will send the instrument to Summa Health for further testing and application.

“I feel so honored to have a chance to make some contributions to help the medical heroes in the fight against such a horrific pandemic,” Shen says. “I also feel grateful to have strong support from our college and university for this invention even in a closed-campus situation.”

The College of Aeronautics and Engineering is committed to improving lives through research and being part of the COVID-19 eradication solution.

POSTED: Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 11:20am
UPDATED: Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 1:02pm