Parametric Nasopharyngeal Swab for Sampling COVID-19 and Other Respiratory Viruses: Open Source Design, SLA 3-D Printing and UV Curing System
Access to nasopharyngeal swabs for sampling remain a bottleneck in some regions for COVID-19 testing. This study develops a distributed manufacturing solution using only an open source manufacturing tool chain consisting of two types of open source 3-D printing and batch UV curing, and provides a parametric fully free design of a nasopharyngeal swab. The swab was designed using parametric OpenSCAD in two components (a head with engineered break point and various handles), which has several advantages: i) minimizing print time on relatively slow SLA printers, ii) enabling the use of smaller print volume open source SLA printers, iii) reducing the amount of relatively expensive UV resin, and iv) enabling production of handle on more accessible material extrusion 3-D printers. A modular open source UV LED box was designed, fabricated for $45 and tested for batch curing. Swabs can be fabricated for $0.06-$0.12/swab. The results of the mechanical validation tests showed that the swabs could withstand greater forces than would be expected in normal clinical use. The swabs were also able to absorb a significant amounts of synthetic mucus materials and passed abrasion and handling tests. The results show the open source swab are promising candidates for clinical trials.