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Team Comes Together to Repair Thousands of N-95 Masks

Tufts Medical Center needed more than 6,000 masks fixed fast, so Tufts students, staff, and alumni are jumping in, along with MIT and Harvard students, to make it happen

When Tufts Medical Center received a donation of 6,095 N95 face masks this week—crucial in these times—it seemed invaluable. But then staff quickly discovered they were old—the elastic bands on the masks were brittle and would break before they could be used.

A Tufts University team volunteering at Tufts Medical Center (TMC) quickly jumped on the case, crowdsourced solutions in the wider Boston academic community, and came together to engineer a prototype to get the damaged elastic out without damaging the masks and provide an alternative way to attach new elastic so that the masks can be used.

Thanks to the fast volunteer mobilization and collaborative problem-solving, groups will begin assembling the masks at Tufts starting on Monday.

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