A Nottingham Trent University scientist, Garreth Cave has invented a face mask that can ”kill viruses including COVID-19 and influenza upon contact.”
Mirror reported that while most face masks feature a three-layer design, this mask features five layers, including an antiviral layer made of nano-copper. It also has ions that are emitted once in contact with a virus, causing the virus to die and stop reproducing.
Dr. Gareth Cave, who designed the mask said:
“The mask we’ve developed has been proven to inactivate viruses upon contact; the antiviral layer kills virus which has been blocked by the filter layers.
“The challenge with conventional surgical-type masks is that they only block virus from entering or exiting the mask. They don’t have an active mechanism for killing it once it’s trapped in the mask.
“Our new antiviral mask has been designed to utilise the existing barrier technology and combine it with our nanotechnology to kill the virus once it is trapped there.
“We’ve added the barrier layer to both sides of the mask so not only does it protect the wearer but also those around. By killing the virus on contact, it also means that the used face mask can be safely disposed of and not be a potential source of passive transfer.”
During tests, the face mask was shown to be able to kill more than 90% of Coronavirus and influenza viruses over seven hours, and had a filtration efficiency of 99.98%.
The masks are expected to go into production this month and will be commercially available from December for healthcare, transport and food service settings.
“It’s exciting to see our technology move forward and make a real impact towards the fight against the spread of COVID-19.”