Printing NP Swabs
Testing for COVID-19 has been complicated in part by an urgent need for nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs, used to collect samples from patients. To alleviate the shortage of such swaps, faculty in the departments of endocrinology, pathology, and biomedical engineering have partnered to establish a local mechanism for 3D printing swabs based on an FDA-approved process. The process involves using a Form Labs 3D printer, the FDA-approved design, and a biocompatible resin (all of which are required to meet FDA standards). After local manufacturing in the department of endocrinology, the NP swabs are autoclaved, packaged, and then added to the hospital’s inventory, where they have been used to test patients and hospital staff.