Thanks to donations from TU Delft alumni and donors of Delft University Fund, 31 projects have already received support from the TU Delft COVID-19 Response Fund. The selection committee consists of Prof.dr. Theun Baller (Dean Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering), Prof.dr. John Schmitz (dean Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science) and Prof.dr. Dirk Jan Veeger (head department Biomechanical Engineering). The following projects receive a financial contribution from the TU Delft COVID-19 Fund:
Smart Personal Protective EquipmentThe current COVID-19 pandemic shows the necessity of personal protective equipment such as face masks. In March 2020, a bachelor students research team at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) decided to switch their already running bachelor graduation project into a topic that could provide a solution to the increasing need of personal protective equipment. Their approach is to enrich conventional air filters with advanced electronic functions such that air filters becomes smart. In the project, a filter module for a face mask is designed with an in-situ ultraviolet sterilisation technique, on board power and sensors to monitor the filter performance. Such advanced smart filters could serve as a key module in novel type of smart personal protective equipment or in other critical air filtration applications.
Toolkit on how to build hand wash stationsClean hands are the last line of defence to minimise the chances of infection and communication is key to ensuring awareness of the benefits and consequences of poor hygiene. TU Delft researchers working on the African Water Corridor Initiative are designing a toolkit to communicate different methodologies that aim to guide people on how to build hand wash stations with the use of local materials and craft. The toolkit will also act as an educational tool on the sanitary practices and their importance to prevent diseases. The toolkit will consist of both printed and digital formats, including posters, booklets and an app. The kit will also be distributed via the YEP (NWP) organisation. Red Cross, Wash Alliance and Unicef have also expressed interest. Furthermore, the applications will be made by African software developers.
Research into vaccination readiness and vaccination policy preferences in the NetherlandsA vaccine against COVID-19 is currently being developed. To achieve group immunity, a vaccination rate of about 75% is required. Together with Erasmus University Rotterdam and Maastricht University, Niek Mouter of TU Delft will investigate whether the Dutch are willing to vaccinate and what their preferences are for policies to stimulate the population's willingness to vaccinate. RIVM and VWS are also involved in this study. The research uses representative choice experiments, which were previously used to map preferences about corona relaxation measures and a corona app.
The spreading of the coronavirus in indoor airProfessor Philomena Bluyssen (Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment) and her team are currently building a test set-up in the SenseLab in the Science Center Delft to make the dispersion of aerosols visible under various ventilation conditions. Based on these tests, advice can be made in the field of ventilation in, for example, office spaces. The research can provide insight into what additional measures need to be taken in shared indoor spaces in order to counter the spread of the corona virus even better. The results will be used to provide the OMT, RIVM and GGDs with new insights.
Scientific communciation in times of Corona virusAlong with health and social challenges, the corona virus also causes communication challenges driven by the (lack of) information or misinformation. The scientific community is facing serious communication challenges which put to the limit the capacity of the scientific communication system in order to work efficiently. Researchers at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematiscs and Computer Science (EEMCS) started a project to provide analytical tools that help decision making on the strategies pursued by institutions and research organizations on coordinating their scientific efforts to communicate their results, and respond in an efficient way to the communicational challenges that the coronavirus crisis has brought to the scientific communication system.
How to outcompete SARS-CoV-2Covid-19 results from an infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. . One hallmark of these viruses is that they have a relatively long genome and evolve rapidly due to their high mutation rate. This combination has important implications for its evolutionary course, and for whether antiviral treatments and vaccination strategies will succeed. Researcher from the Faculty of Applied Sciences have developed a theoretical model for the evolution of SARS-CoV-2. With this model, we they will address questions such as: How fast does SARS-CoV-2 evolve within an individual during infection? And what are the probabilities of re-infection of an immune or recovered individual? This reserach aims to provide the theoretical groundwork needed to assess the feasibility of vaccination and treatment strategies and contribute to the scientific literature of viral evolutionary dynamics.
Masks OffMasks Off is an online platform that supports nurses in the Netherlands in preserving their long term mental health and resilience by giving them a voice to share their daily experiences (e.g., struggles, tips, happy moments). The platform consists of an
interactive social media platform and a website that offers official information by mental healthcare institutions.
EndoscopeResearches investigate which specific Operative Risk Issues to consider in case of abdominal surgery in patients during a COVID- 19 pandemic.
Spread Music. Not COVID.In the coming weeks, Dutch choirs will be dusting off their song sheets, clearing their throats and bursting into song. Hallelujah! Or perhaps not. With so much uncertainty as to the circumstances in which coronavirus is transmitted, being a member of the choral society is suddenly a risky business. Luckily, five creative-minded TU Delft students, include two IDE-ers, are on the case. After being approached by the Nederlandse Bach Vereniging, IDE’s Professor Sicco Santema set up the volunteer student team to help find a solution. The team is working on five different ideas involving face masks, virus killing materials, airflow, fences or cabins and electromagnetics.
Face Mask CoversFebruary 2020. News of the corona outbreak in Wuhan goes viral. To most people in the Netherlands, it’s a distant foreign problem. But the unsettling media reports prompt Chinese members of our student community to don a facemask. This did not prove to be a welcome move. Noticing negative reactions, students from Delft’s Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering decided to research the stigma of wearing masks. Their findings? Across Europe, mask-wearing Chinese were being met with angry glances and hostile comments. Passers-by were walking past them in an exaggerated arc.
OperationAIR (part of initiative Air for All)Students from project OperationAIR at Delft University of Technology succeeded within just three weeks to produce a working prototype of an emergency ventilator, the AIRone. The first tests using a mechanical phantom of the lungs were successful, after which the results were submitted to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports. In the next phase intensivists will be doing tests with the so-called ‘first model’, the first machine that functions as the actual one on the ICU. If the official clinical approval is given, the Ministry can give an order for production. Read the latest update here.
The activities of OperationaIR were made possible with support from the province of South Holland.
Project Inspiration (part of initiative Air for All)Researchers from Project Inspiration published all designs for their mechanical ventilator online. This way, the team hopes to reduce the shortage of ventilators on a national and international level. A test model has been prepared, which will be sent to Guatemala. Read the latest update here.
Ventilator made from standard parts (part of initiative Air for All)A team of scientists from the BioMechanical Engineering department are testing the first prototypes of a ventilator that consists entirely of standard parts. These parts are available locally almost all over the world and can be produced by hundreds of manufacturers. This means that, in many cases, the ventilator can be assembled locally. It is hoped that the design will be able to respond to the demand for ventilators and offer a solution to the logistical problems resulting from a shortage of specific components. Read the latest update here.
Project MaskThe Covid-19 pandemic causes local shortages in healthcare of personal protective equipment such as face masks. Hospitals have therefore started searching for alternative suppliers. In these cases, it is important that the quality of these masks is tested properly. Does the face mask cover the face sufficiently? Is the healthcare worker able to breathe well? Project Mask brings together expertise to build up testing facilities and to support validation. Read the latest update here.
The activities of Project Mask were made possible with support from the province of South Holland.
Prediction course coronavirus and development exit-strategyAt the request of the RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment), Prof.dr.ir. Piet van Mieghem, professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science and colleagues, with the help of three PhD students, is trying to predict the course of the virus and is working on a so-called exit strategy.
Van Mieghem: ‘With the money I receive from the TU Delft COVID-19 Response Fund, I hope to attract knowledge and manpower. It would be great if this could increase my impact.’ Read the latest update here.
Multifunctioneel UV-C LED test platformUVC light destroys viruses and bacteria in a very effective way. The energy of the UVC light disrupts the DNA/RNA and prevents microorganisms from being able to divide. To better understand this, Kouchi Zhang (TU Delft) wants to develop a testing platform together with Ron Fouchier (Erasmus MC). In the near future they also hope to come up with mini-UVC LED decontamination devices that can be linked to door handles, taps, lift buttons or even smartphones.
Kouchi: ‘Currently we are working incredibly hard to understand the effects of UVC-LED light on the coronavirus. With the knowledge we acquire, we hope to be able to paralyze the virus. The contribution from the TU Delft COVID-19 Response Fund is very welcome support and will hopefully bring our search to the next step.’