The University of Southampton

Southampton respirator to reach frontline workers in developing countries through alumni donation

Published: 29 June 2020

Researchers at the University of Southampton are optimising the design of a COVID-19 personal respirator for use in developing countries thanks to a significant donation from two married alumni.

The PeRSo respirator hood, which was created by a multi-disciplinary team including experts in Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), provides clean air via a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter.

A donation of more than £168,000 from Dr Alison Steele and Stefan Cross QC, who met at the University in the 1980s, will help build and test further prototypes of the respirator, including a lightweight version for care home staff and other frontline workers, plus a flat-pack, low-cost version for prompt use in developing countries.

Professor Hywel Morgan, project co-lead within ECS, says: "We are highly appreciative of this generous donation, which will allow us to build on our success and develop the next generation PeRSo for roll out into the wider community as soon as possible."

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