Congratulations to SIG online student Mark! The youngest of only six candidates chosen nationwide, Mark was inducted into the National Gallery for America's Young Inventors and received an Edison Innovation Induction Award for his invention of a "Self-Disinfecting Hazmat Suit for Healthcare Workers," protecting healthcare workers from the Ebola virus.
“I Hope My Invention Will Save Lives”
Mark came up with his idea of a "Self-Disinfecting Hazmat Suit" for healthcare workers while watching Ebola coverage on television. He wanted to help doctors and nurses treating Ebola patients to be better protected from contracting the disease themselves. The online courses that he took from SIG were very helpful to him, especially the last Biology class. His invention won a National Invention Competition, "Student Ideas for a Better America," and was featured on News 12 New Jersey and in the Bergen Record.
The suit uses widely available and inexpensive materials in its design. Mark believes that making lots of suits will not cost a lot of money. His new hazmat suit has three layers:
- The outside layer has many small openings to let the solution outside the suit.
- The middle layer has many pockets filled with disinfecting solution or lentil-shaped beads containing this solution. Behind these pockets there are air pockets that can be inflated by a healthcare worker using a rubber bulb.
- The third inside layer protects the healthcare worker – nothing can get through.
After putting on the suit, the healthcare worker squeezes the bulb one time or several times, for example every 15 to 20 minutes. Squeezing the bulb pushes the disinfecting solution through the tiny openings of the outside layer to cover the suit. When the Ebola virus gets onto the suit, it is killed by the solution. At the end of treating Ebola patients, the healthcare worker must squeeze the bulb once again to make sure all the Ebola virus is covered with the solution. Then the hazmat suit is no longer dangerous to touch – it can now be safely removed and thrown out.