Researchers develop new mask technology that could filter out viruses

Researchers develop new mask technology that could filter out viruses

Researchers develop new mask technology that could filter out viruses

Abu Dhabi Researchers are producing a technology that could allow masks to filter particular viruses, such as Covid-19 and the flu.

Associate professor at Khalifa University, Dr Ammar Nayfeh and a team of academics and doctors are currently developing the new mask consuming nanotechnology.

“The idea is to create specific fibres with certain bonds that will filter out the virus,” said Dr Nayfeh.

Scientists across the world are using nanoparticles in mask designs due to their ability to slow or stop the spread of micro-organisms.

These types of masks are already available in the market with the name of “Nano masks”. Developed with special nanoparticle fabric they are broadly obtainable and people have been using them since the Covid-19 outbreak.


But the design has not developed or changed even with the virus particle sizes altering.

Scientists at Khalifa University have used silicon nanoparticles summarised in vaporizer to look like the covid virus throughout testing. It was then sprayed on two separate masks with different fiber concentrations to regulate what would happen upon contact with the virus.

“Surprisingly, smaller virus [particles] are easy to block because the way these viruses work is that they get attracted to the fibres easier,” said Dr Nayfeh from the department of electrical engineering and computer science.

“Medium-sized particles – which are actually the size of the Covid virus – can make it through easier.”

The scientists observed that the structure of these elements transformed when they came into contact with the fibre of the mask.

“The point is we can modify the nature of the fibre in the mask. If we can filter [imitation Covid particles] then we can filter out anything else, and this is the next step,” Dr Nayfeh said.


“If we could protect you 100 percent instead of 99.9 percent, then why not?

“Especially for frontline workers who are subjected to large viral loads all the time,” he said.

“Can you imagine a future where, when a new virus hits, we can design a mask that can filter specific viruses?”

“There is a need for better protection for future pandemics,” said Dr Nayfeh.

“Even people who wear full PPE [personal protective equipment] can get infected.”

Wearing masks has converted into a new norm with health specialists around the world endorsing them as a way of a complete strategy to stop the transmission of Covid-19.




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