Non-invasive ventilation

Researchers: Heath Reed, Matt Willox, Joe Langley, Julie Roe

Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is the delivery of breathing support via a face-mask. It is used to treat individuals whose breathing is compromised. Evidence shows that when used long term it improves quality of life and life expectancy. Mass produced masks are available for adults but in children it is often difficult to find a mask that provides an adequate seal. Current options for children are to ventilate invasively via a breathing tube, to persevere with NIV through an inadequate mask or to abandon ventilation.

This research explores the application of 3D printing and scanning technologies in the development of customised face masks for very young infants and children.

Participatory research methods involving children and parents have applied innovative 3D assessment and manufacturing to deliver novel mask-face interfaces to optimise the fit of the mask to the needs of individual patients.

To date, lab testing has demonstrated that the methodology and pre-production prototypes are more effective than standard mass produce masks that are currently available.

This research is in collaboration with:

Dr Avril McCarthy, Dr Peter Metherall.  Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

Professor Heather Elphick (Project Lead), Nicki Barker. Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Nathan Mills, Oliver Wells. Devices4Dignity

Alice MacGowan. Medipex

Materialise NV/UK

And funded by:

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

Project updates

Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University,
Furnival Building, 153 Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU
Phone 0114 225 6753 | Fax 0114 225 6931