A British scientist has created a unique mask made up of five layers with a special antiviral layer sandwiched in the middle that incorporates copper nanoparticles to kill the coronavirus, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
Developed by Nottingham Trent University (NTU) nanotechnology expert Gareth Cave and his company Pharm2Pharm, the mask uses patented technology, which makes it release copper ions that inactivate SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, when it comes into contact with it. Tests have shown that the mask can kill more than 90% of influenza and coronavirus particles within seven hours.
The mask is composed of a hypoallergenic hydrophilic layer closest to the face that soaks up excess moisture, a nanotech lining embedded between two filter layers and a fluid-repellent outer layer. It differs from regular three-layer surgical masks that only stop the virus from either entering or exiting, as it kills the virus trapped in the mask.
The mask itself has also received Type IIR certification, which is the European gold standard for surgical masks that offer 99.98% filtration efficiency, with the R indicating that it is fluid-resistant.
Pharm2Farm has undertaken the mass production of the masks, and they will be soon deployed to hospitals across England.
Cave last week announced that the mass production of the mask will begin in November and be commercially available in December. Essential workers such as health care staff, transport workers and those working in food service will be given priority, media reports say.
Copper, thanks to its antimicrobial properties, has been touted as a protective measure to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Its use was previously suggested for shopping carts and door handles to stop viral transmission.
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