The fight against Coronavirus by Polimi

In this particular period many companies and institutions are giving their solidarity contribution to manage the health emergency linked to the pandemic in progress. Even the Politecnico di Milano has not held back, with various initiatives to support the community in this difficult moment, making its laboratories and knowledge available.

Here you will find a summary of the main initiatives:


On March 18, the volunteers of the Civil Protection collected the first 130 liters of sanitizing liquid produced by the laboratories of the Department of Material Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Giulio Natta. As the demand increased, the Polytechnic increased production in a very short time, bringing it to 6000 liters per day.

Thanks to the collaboration of various departments, an automatic system made of pumps and pipes has been built that doses and mixes ethyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, purified water and glycerol at any time of the day. Professor Mariapia Pedeferri, director of the Department, tells the Republic that a way is being studied to modify the WHO recipe and make the final product more viscous, without altering in any way the sanitizing properties.

Currently the Polichina, so the gel "made in university" has been renamed, is distributed by the Regional Emergency Emergency Company of the Lombardy Region to all the Territorial Social Health Companies and to the Civil Protections of the Lombard territory.


Thanks to the continuous work of 20 specialized researchers from the Departments of Aerospace Science and Technology, Energy, Chemistry and Materials and Chemical Engineering Giulio Natta are carrying out conformity tests on some materials, another concrete response of our University, this time to face the shortage of personal protective equipment of hospitals in the region.

Numerous textile production companies were involved, but also companies that produce materials for construction and agriculture, clothing for doctors and dentists, air filter companies. Polyester, polypropylene and various plastic textures, these are just some of the fibers, which are being analyzed, to understand if they are able to protect against SARS-CoV-2.
On March 17th the project started with about 18 fabrics, supplied by 12 companies in the Como area, on March 30th the laboratories counted more than 500 samples of different materials, received from all over Italy.

The most promising tissues are being examined, and currently only 8 have passed all the tests.

The tests carried out are of two types: chemical and physical tests of permeability of materials and bacteriological tests. In particular, tests are carried out on the pressure difference, and on the splashing resistance of biological liquids, on the particle filtration efficiency and the Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) is being evaluated in vitro.

There is not enough time to arrive at an official certification, but the laboratories are working to ensure the technical compliance of the masks.

The Polytechnic, together with Confindustria and the Lombardy Region, is confident in being able to start production in a few days thanks to the rapid reconfiguration of some Lombard companies.

Decathlon masks as respirators

After the numerous projects that saw the Easybreath mask as a useful tool for health care, in the absence of certified devices in the COVID-19 emergency, Decathlon immediately made available its team of engineers to collaborate with the most accredited research centers, providing them with the drawings and technical characteristics of the product.

In particular, at the request of the Lombardy Region, a collaboration with the Department of Mechanics of the Politecnico di Milano has begun. The aim is to validate the adaptability of the mask by reducing the collateral risks, given that the device is designed for snorkeling and untested modifications could lead to an alteration of air flows.

We also wish, in this very difficult moment for our nation, to express our closeness to all those who have family members or people close to them affected by the virus.

If you have any questions or curiosity we are available!

The Svoltastudenti team