Points of light and energy fields: researchers are working on Super-masks against Corona

In the fight against the Coronavirus, a new invention is connected to the other. So researchers are working, for example, of masks, which can detect if the Virus is in the air. Other not to fight off the pathogen only, but even to render them harmless.

It applies in all super markets, public transportation and most shops: the mask of duty. In order to protect above all others, and something to ourselves, we have to cover our mouth and our nose. Thus, we reduce the risk that the pathogen of Sars-CoV-2 in our mucous membranes, or when Sneezing, coughing and Talking in the air.

The Virus can, however, gather on the outer side of the mask, so that it is dangerous to touch the mask with the hands. After all, who sums up then to the face, negating the effect of the mask. Self-FFP-2 and FFP-3 masks create it only for a limited period of time to filter the pathogens from the air.

Much better to have a mask that repels the Virus would be instead. The ensures that it is not infectious. The scientists from the Indiana University thought and are now working on a tissue that it is to deny the pathogens, in the human cells to penetrate. Their results are now published on the prePrint Server “chemrXiv”.

Electric field prevents Penetration into cells

The scientists had already known that many viruses use electric fields to cells to invade. This Is also true for Sars-CoV-2. In order to beat the Virus, so to speak, “with his own gun”, they decided to create an external electric field. This should distribute the charges of the virus particles new, and the pathogens the ability to take in cells to invade.

To this effect, to harness, to develop, the researchers are now masks, the Material generates such an external electric field. Chandan Sen/ University of Indiana , researchers at the University of Indiana want to masks, their Material an external electric field is generated.

The Material is of polyester fabric are attached to which in turn small points of zinc and silver. The geometric, alternating pattern of zinc and silver produced micro-cell batteries, which generate upon exposure to moisture to an electrical field.

By the man inhales in the mask, it moisturizes the tissue. Tiny batteries to create a energy field of 0.5 Volt. University Indiana The graph shows the Material on the silver – and zinc-points are attached to (the red marks show the magnification).

Virus could not infect cells

The scientists observed in experiments, as tens of thousands of virus particles were in contact with the tissue. The result: The mask stopped the Virus before it could get through the Material. The electric field had ensured that it was dismissed. University Inidiana After 1 and 5 minutes, was a four-fold reduction of the obtained virus number observed.

And, better yet, A Minute later, the Virus was able to infect the living cells, which the scientists had offered to the pathogen in the laboratory experiment””. The researchers now want to obtain the approval of the Supervisory authorities and start production.

  • Reading tip: All of the new developments to the outbreak of the Coronavirus you read in the News Ticker

Harvard researchers are developing a mask that aerosols detects

A different approach, scientists at the University of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (mit) to pursue. They explored a simple but effective method for the detection of corona viruses. The team of researchers developed a face mask that lights up, as soon as you detect the Coronavirus in the air. Once in the vicinity of a Person breathes, coughs or sneezes, the germ, and sends the mask, a fluorescent Signal.

The leader in this development, Jim Collins, who has been working since 2014 in his Bioengineering laboratory of virus sensors. According to “Business Insider” he has already developed a technology which detects the Zika Virus. This should now be revised to identify the Coronavirus.

Sensors consist of a freeze-dried genetic material

The idea is that The masks are to be equipped with Sensors, which detect the Virus. The Sensors consist of genetic Material, DNA and RNA, which bind to a Virus. This Material is then freeze-dried. Thus, the gene sequence is deprived of moisture, without it to kill. Thus, the Sensors remain in place for several months, so the masks have a relatively long shelf life.

The Sensors to activate, two things are needed: moisture, the body through the respiratory tract the particle emits. In addition, the genetic sequence of the Coronavirus, is already a small amount.

As soon as the Sensors detect the Virus within one to three hours a fluorescence signal. This is visible to the naked eye is not visible, but can be used with a device called a Flourimeter measured.

Mask could allow for diagnosis without laboratory

So far the project is in a very early stage. According to Collins, the results are promising. If this project is successful, there could find the mask at some point use at airports and railway stations.

It could be used, “if we go through the security check and waiting to get on a plane,” said Collins, the “Business Insider”. “You or I could use it on the way to and from work. Hospitals could use it for the patients when they come in or in the waiting room to wait to check in advance who is infected.“ Doctors could diagnose, even patients with the Virus, without the need for samples to a laboratory to send.

Technology has already been proven

The General technology of the sensor has already been proven. By 2018, its effect already in the case of SARS, Influenza, Hepatitis C, measles, and other viruses could be detected. The scientists will now examine whether the Sensor that detects the Coronavirus should be directly in the mask is placed, or as a module to attach to other masks. The Team hopes to be able to in the next few weeks, a functioning mechanism to introduce.

“As soon as we are in this stage, we could perform studies on individuals that we believe they are infected,” explains Collins. “So we can see whether the masks work in a real environment.”

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