With the practice of wearing masks and regular disinfection becoming the norm in the middle of the global coronavirus pandemic
With the practice of wearing masks and regular disinfection becoming the norm in the middle of the global coronavirus pandemic, developing and improving masks have become a point of interest in the scientific community. Now, researchers have fabricated a chemically-altered face mask that can “deactivate” pathogens such as the novel coronavirus.
A research team from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, has proposed a method that would allow a face mask to chemically modulate exhaled droplets and make them “less infectious.” The details of their work are published in the journal Matter.
A face mask that sanitizes respiratory droplets would greatly reduce the risks of transmitting diseases that rely on air or droplets. Researchers simulated respiratory actions – inhaling, exhaling, coughing, and sneezing in a laboratory setup to demonstrate their proof of concept. It showed non-woven fabrics incorporated into commercially available face masks work well. For example, a lint-free wipe of 19 percent fiber density can sanitize up to 82 percent of expelled respiratory droplets by volume.
Researchers also reported that the non-woven fabric in the experiment did not hinder respiration, and the chemicals in the altered mask were not expelled during the simulated respirations.