As PPE demand increased, Tampa company stepped up, only to have advertising shut down by Facebook

For information on the new Top Gun respirator, click here. 

TAMPA, Fla. – SynDaver, a Tampa-based manufacturer of synthetic humans and animals used in medical simulation and training was severely impacted by the forced closures related to COVID-19, as many of their customers are middle schools, high schools and universities.

“When the schools closed, that side of our business was put on hold as hands-on learning has essentially been terminated until further notice,” said Dr. Christopher Sakezles, CEO and founder of SynDaver. “But, as demand for PPE increased, we quickly retooled and pivoted to making respirators.”

The initial response was phenomenal. According to SynDaver, their sales skyrocketed, and individuals who needed or wanted respirators were given the opportunity to purchase an American-made respirator.

The respirator face mask was a natural fit for SynDaver, as the company has been making silicone soft tissue as well as synthetic wet tissue products for decades.

“In less than 30 days, we designed and built a prototype, conducted testing and sought feedback, listened, implemented improvements and began mass-production,” said Sakezles. “Then Facebook shut us down when they changed their advertising policies overnight and eliminated the ability to advertise PPE, so we are literally sitting on tons of inventory.”

SynDaver has now shipped masks to all who ordered them, but the company is still unable to advertise the respirators on Facebook.

“It’s really a shame,” said Sakezles. “This isn’t a question of if they are wanted or not. When people see that we have high-quality, made in the USA respirators available, orders get placed. However, because Facebook has shut down our ability to advertise we can’t even let people know about them. We’re not asking for any hand outs, we just want the ability to conduct business and pay Facebook for the ability to advertise our American-made respirator that people want and need.”

Another selling point that made SynDaver’s respirators unique was that the company was offering them to law enforcement and first responders at cost. According to SynDaver, almost all of the initial purchases were made by law enforcement, first responders and healthcare providers.

The SynDaver respirator employs MERV 13 filtration media that has been shown to filter out virus-carrying particles. However, at this point, the SynDaver respirator has not been tested or certified by any regulatory agency.

The latest version of the mask, dubbed “Top Gun” because it resembles a fighter pilot oxygen mask, costs $35 per unit, and bulk pricing is available.

To order the mask, visit:

For more information, visit

About SynDaver

Headquartered in Tampa, SynDaver is the world’s leading manufacturer of hyper-realistic, synthetic human and animal models for medical education, training and surgical simulation. SynDaver’s synthetic bodies mimic live tissue properties and are used by high schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, medical device companies and the military for training, testing and validation. SynDaver has the world’s largest database of live-tissue properties. Made from a proprietary formula of water, salts and fibers, the company holds 16 patents on their materials, processes and the related products. SynDaver has more than 100 employees at its facilities in the U.S. and is planning additional facilities in Europe, China, Brazil and India. SynDaver products have been lauded by industry experts and earned a cult following after appearances on ABC’s Shark Tank, MythBusters, Grey’s Anatomy and the series finale of CSI. For more information on SynDaver or their product offerings, visit

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James JudgeAs PPE demand increased, Tampa company stepped up, only to have advertising shut down by Facebook