Scientists Create Face Masks Capable of Detecting Viral Exposure with Mobile Alerts

A facemask capable of sending mobile alerts if pathogens are present in the surrounding. It is what Scientists created, and it can detect common respiratory viruses, such as influenza and the coronavirus.

The project research was presented to the journal Matter on September 19, 2022.

According to the study, the face mask can detect viral exposure in the air or droplets from a 10-minute conversation with infected persons.

Yin Fang, the study’s corresponding author and a material scientist at Shanghai Tongji University, explained that the project’s initiative came from previous research showing that face masks can reduce the spread and risk of contracting diseases.

Yang added they created the face mask to help in detecting any presence of virus in the wearer’s surroundings.

Published in ScienceDaily, Yang said the masks they created would work in poor ventilation spaces. It includes enclosed rooms or elevators in which anyone can risk getting infected.

According to the study, the respiratory pathogens causing H1N influenza or COVID-19 virus go through aerosols or small droplets. The infected people release it as they converse, sneeze or cough.

Sensitive face mask


(Photo by Asanka Ratnayake via Getty Images)

The research explained that they tested the face mask.

  • In an enclosed chamber, they sprayed viral surface protein.
  • It shows that the censor responded with 0.3 microliters of liquid with viral proteins. It contained a trace-level liquid and aerosol.
  • As the aptameters detect the target proteins from the air and the-gated transistor amplifies an alert in the wearers’ mobile devices. Within 10 minutes, the sensitive face mask will detect pathogens in the wearer’s surroundings.

Moreover, it explains that it is designed with small censors with aptamers. It adds that it is a synthetic molecule capable of identifying pathogens’ proteins. It has three types of aptamers that can detect SARS-CoV-2, H5N1, and H1N1.

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The study also noted that the team is studying to shorten pathogen detection. They aim to increase sensor sensitivity.

They are also working on wearable devices for different health conditions.

COVID-19 virus

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the worldwide use of face masks. Different designs and layouts of face masks emerged. Wearing face masks has become the new normal globally.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), face masks are highly advised because they suppress the virus’s transmission, especially COVID-19. Wearers of face masks can be equipped with sufficient protection against the COVID-19 virus.

The National Geographic article published on April 15, 2021, reveals that disposable personal protective equipment could be an environmental pollutant.

The report shows that 3.4 billion face masks and face shields are thrown daily. The worst is that disposable PPEs with polypropylene and polyester can stay on the planet for decades.

The overwhelming number of face masks can cause effects environments, habitats, and animals.

Irresponsible and inefficient waste management of face masks could lead to clogged drains resulting in flooding during rainfalls. Also, it can harm the animals.

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For more similar stories, don’t forget to follow Nature World News.

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