Several models currently being tested provide a physical barrier between the person wearing the mask and the potential virus, and their role is much more than that.
Washington- Masks are undergoing high-tech updates.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the several models currently being tested do more in providing no physical barrier between the person wearing the mask and the potential virus.
Materials scientists, chemists, biologists, and engineers have created prototypes of functional masks, which include diagnostic procedures, sensors, and even functions that can kill viruses.
The newspaper stated: “In the near future, if you are on an airplane and the person next to you sneezes, you may wear a mask to disinfect the air before inhaling it.”
Some of these new masks are designed for medical staff, while others will be sold to medical staff and consumers.
In the United States, the sale of masks and respirators that provide protection for medical devices or workers must be approved for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh).
Christopher Surmont, the project manager of the Johns Hopkins University Medical Biological Controls Department, said: “I am very pleased that people are paying attention to masks.”
He said that the new idea “has a certain degree of scientific rigor.” “Once we understand how they work, we will start to see which tool makes the most sense.”
Anna Ruf, director of the Exposure Assessment Laboratory and assistant professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, said: “We are seeing innovative technologies that can make wearing masks safer and more environmentally friendly.
“If you have a lining on your mask and there is space around your nose or mouth, virus particles will enter the duct,” Rule explained. Rule is also a member organization of the World Health Organization’s Personal Protective Equipment Technical Advisory Group (WHO).
He said: “Aerosol droplets have the least resistance. “Antibacterial coatings can produce greater antibacterial resistance in the environment. “
These are some masks in development
Intelligent and durable N95 respirator:
Due to insufficient masks, medical staff wear them longer than recommended, and masks degraded due to the sterilization effect of steam, hydrogen peroxide vapor and ultraviolet rays will be reused.
Over time, sterilization will reduce the filtration and fit of the mask, and the degree of protection for workers will also decrease.
The new mask that will be evaluated by Niosh has a longer validity period than many masks currently in use because it can better resist a variety of sterilization, including aggressive methods such as boiling, heat sterilization, ultraviolet treatment, and isopropanol.
These transparent silicone rubber masks with removable and disposable N95 filters are the result of a team led by Giovanni Traverso, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The mask has sensors that provide feedback on fit and functionality.
Jason Troutner, president of Teal Bio, plans to produce the respirator in the United States. He predicts that the product will be sold at a price that competes with the one-time N95s this year.
Masks that kill viruses:
Today’s masks can act as a barrier to virus particles. Michael Strano, a professor of chemical engineering at MIT, is developing a mask designed to actually kill the virus.
The mask design contains a copper mesh heated to about 70 degrees Celsius to capture and inactivate viruses. The neoprene insulation and thermoelectric cooler will ensure a comfortable intake of air.
Strano predicts that each reusable mask will weigh about 225 grams, be powered by a 9-volt battery, cost a few dollars, and, if approved by regulatory agencies, will come in two models: a slightly larger version for doctors. Medical staff and emergency personnel, as well as smaller versions for the consumer market.
Masks from Medi-Immune Ltd. in the United Kingdom use another method to kill the virus.
It uses UVC light to disinfect the air entering a small room, which can be carried on a belt or in a backpack. The hose extends from the chamber to the mask, and the fan maintains the positive pressure on the mask to ensure that any possible leakage will leak to the outside. The exhaled air passes through the filter on the side of the mask.
The battery-powered rechargeable mask is expected to cost about $500.
Masks collect evidence of infection in everyone’s breath, so why not use them to detect Covid-19?
Researchers from the Wise Institute of Bio-Inspired Engineering at Harvard University discovered how to integrate a freeze-dried diagnostic test for Covid-19 into a face mask. The test will react with the exhaled particles and make a diagnosis in 90 minutes or less.
The test and a small water bottle can be installed on any mask. After wearing the mask for at least 30 minutes, a person pierces the vial to release the water needed for rehydration and reaction.
The test result is expressed in one or two lines, similar to a pregnancy test.
The researchers tested their technology by placing the mask on a breathing simulator, which exhales fragments of SARS-CoV-2 RNA into an artificially generated aerosol. They found that their test was as effective as the FDA-approved Covid-19 RT-PCR test.
The Wyss team led by James J. Collins, a Temeer Professor of Engineering and Medical Sciences at MIT, estimates that the product will cost about $5.
A team led by Jesse Jokerst, associate professor of nanoengineering at the University of California, San Diego, is working on a mask-mounted COVID-19 test. The test is included in a sticker that can be affixed to any mask.
The professor believes that each cost is only a few cents.