Bio-Stopper is a project born from an idea of the engineer Mario Palazzetti, long-time designer of the Fiat research centre, and to which the team of Nostro Design Studio collaborated together with the Polytechnic of Turin. Bio-stopper was created to respond to the problems related to social distancing in times of the Covid-19 pandemic. The project starts from the idea of creating biological isolation between people seated at a table by means of a device to be placed in the centre of the table that generates vortexes capable of producing a protective barrier around each person. The first functional tests conducted by the Polytechnic of Turin focus on the vortex effect created by the Bio-Stopper, which captures the aerosol particles emitted by the potentially infected subject, keeping them in the emission area and confining them to the edge of the table. However, the first tests are not successful, as the system works only partially when it comes into contact with other objects such as bottles and dishes. In fact, in this circumstance the aerosol emissions are not completely confined: turbulence decreases the initial containment effect, failing to create the air shield that should have protected people.
The following tests on the functioning of the product focus on the second idea of the engineer Palazzetti, which this time is the winning one: the ingenious mechanism is based on creating lateral air blades that, emanated diagonally, protect the persons from both sides and form the biological barrier, just as if there were plexiglass curtains. The aerosol emitted by the potentially infected person cannot pass through the blades of air generated by the Bio-Stopper and remains confined to its emission area. With four people seated at the table, each one has its confinement area this time. The design of the product designed by the Nostro team, as well as being characterized by the technical and engineering limits dictated by the functioning and the internal mechanism, is focused on the idea of making the object as extraneous as possible to the public, given the novelty of a product never experienced before.