The Win-D-Fender(TM): Viral Risk Reduction in Flute

by Lisa Garner Santa

COVID-19 brings to question the safety of musical performance. Flute has the greatest risk for viral spread. Could the Win-D-Fender(TM) help?
Lubbock, TX United States COVID-19

All Team Company Innovation Details Supporters Comments Updates

About our project

The problem we solve: The current COVID19 crisis is bringing into question the safety of musical rehearsal and performance. Current governmental suggestions for containing viral transmissions do not specify precautions for environments such as wind sections of orchestras or bands which have humans emitting air at high velocities. It is believed that the most problematic wind instrument is flute; a flutist is moving a large quantity of air directly from their lungs into the room rather than into a mouthpiece, as one would find with clarinet or trumpet. The application of a traditional medical-grade face mask does not allow the flutist to produce sound on the instrument.

About our solution: A current product on the market, the Win-D-Fender ™, is a flute accessory developed to allow a flutist to perform outdoors by blocking the disturbance of outside air (wind) which easily disrupts the flutist’s airstream thus impairing sound quality. This study will test the product’s effectiveness on containing the flutist’s particle generation and size distribution, in the opposite direction. If the product inhibits outside air from interfering with the flutist’s airstream, while still supporting flute sound, the product will likely reduce the spread of particles coming from the flutist into the room. This study will test the aerosol generation from flute playing with and without the use of the Wind-D-Fender™ to confirm the product’s impact on the risk of infectious disease transmission.

Progress to date:

Aerosol Generation from Flute Playing with and without the use of the Win-D-Fender™ and its Risk of Infectious Disease Transmission has already received partial funding support from the Texas Tech University J.T. and Margaret Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Honors College, and the Office of Research and Innovation. All scientists at TTU are volunteering their services to the study. We are seeking funding for the cost of a specialized particle measuring instrument: the NanoScan SMPS (Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer ™). The NanoScan SMPS provides a direct and quantitative measurement of the number-weighted particle size distribution in real time based on count size-classified particles using single-particle detection. This instrument is necessary to detect the small size particles related to infectious diseases like COVID19 (about 100 nm). The research methodology has been established. Samples will be taken to assess product effectiveness related to flutists' gender and height, as well are variables such as flute register (high-middle-low), dynamic (volume), articulation (slow to quick), and performance duration. Data from the study will be assimilated as quickly as possible for publication in order to inform global practices related to risk reduction of viral spread in musical rehearsal and performance. 

About Our Team

Creator: Lisa Garner Santa

Location: Texas

Education: Texas Tech University

Bio: Lisa Garner Santa currently serves as principal flutist with Lubbock Chamber Orchestra and is Artist-Performer and Professor of Flute at Texas Tech University where she enjoys a diverse career as a teacher, recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician. As a pedagogue, Lisa Garner Santa presents masterclasses throughout the United States and abroad. International exchanges include masterclasses at the Royal College of Music in London, England, and Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, as well as Peking University in Beijing, China. Most recently she has presented and performed in symposiums in Naolinco (Mexico), San Jose (Costa Rica), and Mendoza (Argentina). Appearances at various regional and national conventions include a 2020 performance as soloist on Joel Puckett's Shadow of Sirius at the Regional CBDNA conference with TTU's Symphonic Band under the direction of Dr. Eric Allen. Her research, pedagogical articles, and interviews are published in The Flutist Quarterly, Flute Talk, and The Instrumentalist. She is a recipient of the Texas Tech Big 12 Fellowship, the Texas Tech Alumni Association New Faculty Award, the President's Excellence in Teaching award, the President's Excellence in Diversity and Equity Award and was recognized in 2020 as a TTU Integrated Scholar. She has also served as an Executive Council member of Texas Tech University's prestigious Teaching Academy.

Title: Professor of Flute

Advanced Degree(s): D.M.A.

About Team Members

Michael San Francisco San Francisco
Dean of the Honors College, Professor of Biological Sciences, Ph.D. in Biology and Microbiology
Biography: Michael San Francisco, Ph.D. is the Dean of the Honors College, a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Immunology and Molecular Microbiology at TTU-HSC, the Director of the Clark Scholars Program and a special advisor to the Vice President for Research. He received the Hemphill Wells New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award in 1993 and the President's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2009. Dr. San Francisco has received grants from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Defense-SBCOM and Office of the Vice President for Research. He has served on proposal review panels for the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation and as ad hoc reviewer for a variety of funding agencies and scientific journals. His scientific research and publications are primarily in the areas of molecular mechanisms of microbial drug resistance and the molecular and biochemical basis of symbiotic and pathogenic interactions of microorganisms with their plant and animal hosts. His research currently focuses on the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis that has been identified as an agent in the global decline of amphibians. Dr. San Francisco teaches general microbiology and advanced courses in microbiology to upper level and graduate students. He has graduated seven doctoral students and nine master's students from his laboratory. He has also served as undergraduate research mentor to more than 55 students including TTU/HHMI, National Science Foundation-Research Experiences for Undergraduate and Honors College students. Dr. San Francisco served as Interim Chair of Biological Sciences at Texas Tech University from 1997-1998. He has been the Director of the Clark Scholars Program since 1997. This Program provides an all expenses paid 7-week intensive research experience for high school students from across the nation and globe.
Title: Dean of the Honors College, Professor of Biological Sciences
Advanced Degree(s): Ph.D. in Biology and Microbiology

Karin Ardon-Dryer
Assistant Professor, Ph.D. Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
Biography: Education B.A., Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Ben Gurion University, 2003 M.S., Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Ben Gurion University, 2006 Ph.D., Department of Geophysics, Atmospheric and Plantary Sciences and the Porter School of Environmental Studies, Tel Aviv University, 2012 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science, MIT, 2012-2015 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, 2015-2017 Research Cloud Physics Aerosols - Cloud Interaction Aerosol Measurements Atmospheric Field Studies GeoHealth, Aerosol-Health Interaction Air Pollution and Air Quality Dust Storms My group studies aerosol-cloud interactions and the effect that aerosols have on climate, the environment and our health. Our research combines field and laboratory work to investigate the interaction between human and climate; exploring the human effects on climate with an emphasis on cloud formation and precipitation processes, and vice versa, namely, how climate may affect our lives in the short and long terms.
Title: Assistant Professor
Advanced Degree(s): Ph.D. Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

Emily Bailey
Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health, Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences
Biography: Please see Google Scholar citations:
Title: Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health
Advanced Degree(s): Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences

About Our Company

Texas Tech University

Location: 2624 18th St.
Lubbock, TX 79410

Founded: 1923


Product Stage: Idea

Employees: 3-5

Innovation Details

Intellectual Property Summary

The Intellectual Property will be the results of the funded study and will belong to the research team. The results will be submitted for publication in order to inform global practices related to risk reduction of viral spread in musical rehearsal and performance. 

Clinical Information

We will be submitting for IRB approval to collect data related to the performance samples of flutists. 

Regulatory Status

FDA approval is not required.

How we will use the funds raised


$32, 775: NanoScan SMPS (Quote provided by TSI on 5/8/20) - Portable Nanoparticle Sizer including software and accessory kit with AC adaptor, 2 rechargeable batteries, alcohol fill capsule, 500 mL external fill bottle, L isopropanol bottles (Qty 16), zero filter, and USB cable. 

$4,245: 1 Year Service Agreement 3910 Nano Scan - Includes 1 Repair and Calibration (RP-3910) plus 1 Year Extended Warranty 

$2,980: Testing Chamber Materials (Plexiglas, glue, gloves, seals, build and other)



$5,000 - TTU TCVPA Dean's ACSA

$7,000 - TTU Honors College

$4,000 - TTU Office of Research and Innovation 



Thank You

Music education and performance is a vital part of our human culture. Many student and professional wind ensembles require musicians to work in close proximity while moving large and often fast quantities of air in and out of their lungs and into a shared space. Flute playing has highest potential aerosol spread of all the wind instruments. COVID-19 is an airborne respiratory virus. The application of the already available accessory, the Win-D-Fender(TM), may significantly reduce potential viral spread related to flute playing. Your funding support will assist in helping to determine the safest ways to return to live wind music rehearsal and performance. Thank you for considering this project! 


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  • 25 Days left

$ 21,000 goal

Lisa Garner Santa
Professor of Flute
Texas Tech University

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