UC Davis Biodesign Project Cited in Research Challenges
GREEN-95, the finalist team that represented UC Davis at the international Biodesign Challenge, were also chosen among the top 40 semi-finalists in the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) Mask Innovation Challenge, a nationwide competition sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that was open to all individuals, start-ups, and corporations in the U.S.A.
The interdisciplinary UC Davis team that led GREEN-95 included alumna Elizabeth Marley (MFA, design, ‘20), design researcher and lecturer in the Department of Design, Marc Facciotti, professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Genomics, Dave Furlow, professor in the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and the Director of the University Honors Program. The team included students Claire Chung, Wildlife Conservation Biology in College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Rory Greenhalgh, Biotechnology in College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Raj Jagannath, Computer Science in College of Letters and Sciences; and Emma Smith, Design major in College of Letters and Sciences with minors in climate science & policy and sustainability in the built environment.
GREEN-95 is an eco-friendly alternative design to the N95 mask. Derived from shellfish shells and crop waste products, the mask is made with a unique biomaterial layering process, 100% biodegradable, and aims to filter 95% of airborne particulates. For more about the project, view the YouTube video.
The BARDA Mask Innovation Challenge is a challenge that aims to support the development of innovative masks that protect Americans from respiratory pathogens like the SARS-Cov-2. Through the challenge, GREEN-95 was able to participate alongside start-up companies and established labs to pitch their mask ideas, as well as learn firsthand how various competitors effectively marketed their products. They learned through direct involvement how to better demonstrate and resolve major issues with current masks as well as ways funding could help them further for future prototyping.
“Personally, I was able to learn a lot about professional marketing and enjoyed seeing the diversity of all the different mask innovations people came up with,” said Claire Chung.