Innovative 3D Printed Masks for Children on Ventilators: Imperial College and Sheffield Hospital’s Breakthrough

The Reader Wall Google News

Imperial College and Sheffield Children’s Hospital Team Up to Develop 3D-Printed Masks for Children

From our source, a unique project has been initiated by Imperial College London alongside Sheffield Children’s Hospital. The project’s focus is to produce custom-made 3D printed breathing masks, specifically tailored to assist children who need to use Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV) machines at home. This initiative is generously backed by well-known charity Action Medical Research, with substantial support from the VTCT Foundation and LifeArc.

A Solution for Ill-fitting Masks

The primary concern that this pioneering initiative aims to address is the problem of ill-fitting NIV masks for children, particularly those with facial differences. More than 2,000 children in the UK alone are dependent on NIV machines. These machines aid youngsters with various health conditions like sleep apnea or neuromuscular disorders, including cerebral palsy, who struggle with proper nighttime breathing.

Advantages of Personalized Masks

Through this venture, the team is looking to automate the complex process of making personalized masks. This will be achieved using advanced technology in the form of 3D scanning and computer-aided design (CAD). The main benefits of this personalization are improved fit and comfort, which in turn increases the effectiveness of the NIV treatment itself. The success of this personalised mask approach is predicted to significantly improve the quality of life for those children who are affected. Furthermore, it is hoped to decrease the number of hospital admissions and mitigate the life-threatening risks associated with poor fitting masks, such as severe complications and premature death.

Partnership and Future of the Project

This venture is the result of successful collaboration with industry partners Photocentric and Polymetrix. As per our reliable source, the revolutionary research is expected to officially launch in March 2024. Going forward, it is anticipated that patient testing will take place by the summer of the same year.

Hope for More Accessible Treatment

The dedicated research team is hopeful that this innovative method will make custom-fitted masks more accessible to those who need them most. Furthermore, this is expected to substantially increase the overall effectiveness of NIV treatments for children suffering with respiratory challenges. This is a reassuring stride in the right direction for assisting those children and their families who are dependent on the use of NIV machines.


In conclusion, this collaborative initiative between Imperial College London and Sheffield Children’s Hospital is a distinguished attempt to increase the personalized approach in healthcare. It is anticipated this will lead to significant improvements in the lives of many children across the UK, ultimately paving the way for other similar endeavours around the globe in the years to come.


Brielle, a dedicated and insightful author, contributes to ReaderWall's Education category with a passion for knowledge sharing. Her engaging writing style and expertise in educational topics create a compelling resource for readers seeking valuable insights and information. Explore Brielle's articles to enhance your understanding and stay informed in the ever-evolving landscape of education.