Portable Sterilization Unit


N95 FRP mask production in the U.S. is estimated at $1.5 billion annually with approximately 400 million masks used in the U.S. each year. Under normal circumstances, N95 masks range in cost from $0.75-$1.50 per mask depending on manufacturer and model. During times of high demand and shortage, the cost increases dramatically to upwards of $7.50 per N95 mask. During times of significant supply shortage, such as a global pandemic, the CDC recommends that healthcare workers reuse personal protective equipment such as N95 masks. A solution was needed to increase the longevity of a single N95 mask and ensure sterilization of reused masks.


The Portable Sterilization Unit is an automated, transportable, sterilization system for personal protective equipment such as N95 masks. The apparatus allows for onsite, rapid turnaround of sterilized N95s. A treatment enclosure directs a sterilization medium such as ultraviolet (UV) light towards the mask. A transport system advances the masks into the treatment enclosure for irradiation by the UV light. Upon completion of sterilization the mask are promptly returned to users for reuse. A tracking indictor maintains a count of the sterilization cycles imposed on each mask to ensure that repeated sterilization does not compromise the effectiveness of the mask.


The concept of using an automated system to sterilize N95 masks is an innovative solution to a global challenge with great potential to be effective for future supply shortages. This solution has several benefits:

• More cost effective, produces less waste, and requires less manpower that purchasing marked up N95 masks

• Expedites the N95 sterilization process and reduced the likelihood of user error

• Easy implementation of the system allows for mobility of the solution and expansion to multiple sites

• The solutions is transferrable and could be effective at sterilizing other forms of personal protective equipment

• Reduces concern of global supply chain issues

Inventor Name: Theresa Roelke, APRN-AGPCNP

Inventor Name (additional): N/A

Case Number: N/A

Patent Application Number: 63034886

IP Status: Provisional