scientists have devised a face mask that can detect respiratory related viruses like influenza and covid-19, in the open air as droplets or aerosols.
The face mask may also alert people via their mobile devices within 10 minutes of exposure to specific viruses.
Respiratory viruses are those that cause COVID-19 and H1N1 influenza spread as minute droplets and aerosols generated by infected people when talking, coughing, and sneezing.
These pathogens have molecules, particularly small aerosols, that hang in air for extended periods of time.
Why This Sensor Mask?
Previous study has shown that wearing a face mask minimized the risk of illness propagation and contracting.
Aerosols are how COVID-19 and H1N1 infections propagate.
They pass from person to person while coughing, chatting, or sneezing. However, wearing masks have helped cut the chain spreading such virus from infected to normal.
What Was The Method For Sensor Face Mask To Detect Virus In 10 Mins?
- The mask was evaluated in a confined environment by spraying the viral surface protein with trace-level liquid and aerosols.
- The sensor detected 0.3 microliters of viral protein-containing liquid, which is approximately 70 to 560 times less than the volume of liquid produced by a single sneeze and considerably less than the volume produced by coughing or talking.
- The scientists created a compact sensor using aptamers, which are synthetic molecules that can identify pathogen-specific proteins such as antibodies.
- The scientists upgraded the multi-channel sensor in their proof-of-concept device with 3 kinds of aptamers that can simultaneously identify surface proteins on SARS-CoV-2, H5N1, and H1N1.
- When the aptamers air bond target proteins, the ion-gated transistor linked will turn on.
- When the aptamers bind proteins in the air, the ion-gated transistor will amplify the signal and send a warning to people’s phones.
- Since the ion-gated transistor is highly sensitive, the mask can detect even trace quantities of viruses in the air within 10 mins.
The researchers are also working on wearable devices for various health conditions including cardiovascular disease and cancer detection, according to a study published in The Journal of Electrochemistry.