Two engineering lecturers at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have teamed up to make potentially life-saving equipment for coronavirus patients from their homes.

Dr Steve Sigurnjak, a senior lecturer in electronic engineering, and Dr Matthew Dickinson, a senior lecturer in mechanical engineering, have designed and created three brackets which will allow breathing masks to be attached to viral filters.

The 3D-printed equipment will enable coronavirus patients to get the oxygen supply they need without the use of a highly sought-after hospital ventilator.

The duo came up with the idea after Dr Sigurnjak was asked by a friend, who is a critical care doctor at Salford Royal Hospital, to use his 3D printer to help.

Dr Dickinson met with the doctor to discuss what was required and 40 minutes later he had created the first prototype, before going on to develop and print the equipment four days later.

The adaptors are made of polylactic acid, the same type of material used to create Lego bricks.

Dr Sigurnjak, who previously used his 3D printer to create toys for his three children, said: “Because these are going to be used when they run out of ventilators, the ideal situation is they would never be used.

“If they are we want to make sure that we've got as many as possible, so they could almost become disposable if need be.”

Offers of help to print any additional adaptors have flooded in since the professors highlighted their work on social media.