There is an urgent concern about the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), especially N95 respirator masks, to protect front-line healthcare personnel and emergency responders from contracting the virus.
Battelle teams designed and built the Battelle CCDS Critical Care Decontamination System™ for decontaminating single-use disposable N95 PPE, allowing N95 PPE with critical shortages to be reused.
“All parts of our organization are working extended hours and weekends to meet this national need,” said Matthew Vaughan, Battelle’s Contract Research President. “We’re grateful for the partnership of healthcare systems and federal and state officials in our collective effort to help our front-line medical professionals as they work to protect the public.”
For decades, Battelle has served the United States military in protecting troops from chemical and biological hazards. The company operates Biosafety Level 2 and 3 labs where research is performed on live viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Battelle also has a full medical device development team that works with the FDA on a regular basis.
The Battelle CCDS™
The decontamination system is based on published research that Battelle performed for the FDA in 2015 (Richter et al., 2016) to assess the feasibility to decontaminate N95 respirator masks in the event of a PPE shortage resulting from a pandemic. We’re currently conducting research to validate that other equipment, such as goggles and face shields, can be decontaminated using this process.
The Battelle CCDSTM is operating tests at Battelle’s West Jefferson facility under an FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and is capable of decontaminating tens of thousands of respirator masks per day using concentrated, vapor phase hydrogen peroxide (VPHP). The respirator masks are exposed to the validated concentration level to decontaminate biological contaminates, including the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Battelle CCDSTM can decontaminate the same respirator mask up to 20 times without degrading the mask’s performance.
“Our team is acting with urgency to meet the needs of our local community,” said Karrie Branch, CBRNE Business Line Manager. “They’ve also developed creative ways to deploy this science and technology solution more broadly to New York and other regions of the country.”
Locally, OhioHealth has been deeply engaged with Battelle over the past two weeks on logistical and operational aspects of the decontamination system. We’re decontaminating N95 PPE for OhioHealth and will begin processing N95 PPE for other major Ohio hospital systems.
“We are very encouraged by this new development and are proud to support Battelle in this important work,” said Chris Clinton, vice president of Shared Services at OhioHealth. “It will have a significant impact on helping caregivers have the supplies they need to remain safe and to deliver critical care when it is needed most.”
Healthcare systems that wish to use Battelle CCDSTM will collect worn respirator masks daily in accordance with an approved procedure and courier these respirator masks to Battelle’s West Jefferson campus. The PPE is labeled with a barcoded serial number for tracking the chain-of-custody throughout the process. This ensures that the hospital system receives its own masks back. Each respirator mask will be marked with the number of times that mask has been processed.
Hospital systems and other agencies who wish to learn more about this system are asked to visit www.battelle.org/decon or contact Battelle directly at: 1-800-201-2011.
For 90 years, Battelle has been a part of solving some of society’s most pressing challenges, including infectious diseases. As this pandemic continues to evolve, Battelle is proud to provide our broad scientific expertise to address multiple issues related to COVID-19.