Scientists have created a replaceable and more effective filter for N95 respirators. The development of scientists from the American Chemical Society is a membrane that is worn over the mask – and will allow you to use it longer and more efficiently. The work is described in the journal ACS Nano.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic, there has been a shortage of medical respirators, masks, and other personal protective equipment around the world. The fact is that during a pandemic, masks are needed in huge quantities, which the industry is not yet able to provide.
N95 respirators filter about 85% of particles smaller than 300 nm. The SARS-CoV-2 virus (pathogen COVID-19) is in the size range from 65-125 nm, so some virus particles can penetrate the protective mask. In addition, due to the shortage, many health workers have to re-use the respirator, while it is intended for single use.
In a new work, scientists have found a way to use one of the most popular respirators, N95, several times. They created a filter membrane, which is installed on the outside of the mask and is able to contain particles from 5 to 55 nm in size.
On the one hand, the membrane allows you to reuse the mask, on the other hand, it protects the wearer more effectively from infection with a new type of coronavirus.
The membrane is made of hydrophobic materials – this means that drops of liquid, which may contain particles of the virus, roll off it. This further enhances her protection, the study says.