Makhsous, S.; Segovia, J.M.; He, J.; Chan, D.; Lee, L.; Novosselov, I.V.; Mamishev, A.V. Methodology for Addressing Infectious Aerosol Persistence in Real-Time Using Sensor Network. Sensors2021, 21, 3928.
Makhsous, S.; Segovia, J.M.; He, J.; Chan, D.; Lee, L.; Novosselov, I.V.; Mamishev, A.V. Methodology for Addressing Infectious Aerosol Persistence in Real-Time Using Sensor Network. Sensors 2021, 21, 3928.
Human exposure to infectious aerosols results a transmission of diseases, such as influenza, tuberculosis, and COVID-19. Most dental procedures generate a significant number of aerosolized particles, increasing transmission risk in dental settings. Since the generation of aerosols in dentistry is unavoidable, many clinics started using intervention strategies such as area-filtration units and extraoral evacuation equipment, especially under the relatively recent constraints of the pandemics. However, the effectiveness of these devices in dental operatories has not been studied. Therefore, the dental personnel's ability to position and operate such instruments efficiently is also limited. To address these challenges, we utilized a real-time sensor network for assessment of aerosol dynamics during dental restoration and cleaning producers with and without intervention. The strategies tested during the procedures were (i) local area high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) filters and (ii) extra-oral suction device (EOSD). The study was conducted at the University of Washington School of Dentistry using a network of thirteen fixed sensors positioned within the operatory and one wearable sensor worn by the dental operator. The sensor network provides time and space-resolved particulate matter (PM) data. Three-dimensional (3D) visualization informs aerosol persistence in the operatory. It was found that area filters did not improve the overall aerosol concentration in dental offices significantly. An average of 16% decrease in PM concentration was observed when EOSD equipment was used during the procedures. The combination of real-time sensors and 3D visualization can provide dental personnel and facility mangers with actionable feedback to effectively assess aerosol transmission in medical settings and develop evidence-based intervention strategies.
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