Researchers have developed a extra environment friendly membrane filter that may be hooked up to a daily N95 mask and changed when wanted. The filter has a smaller pore measurement than regular N95 masks, probably blocking extra virus particles, in accordance the researchers from King Abdullah College of Science and Know-how (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia.
Because the outbreak of COVID-19, there’s been a worldwide scarcity of face masks — notably the N95 ones worn by well being care employees, they mentioned.
Though these coverings present the very best stage of safety at present obtainable, they’ve limitations, the researchers famous within the journal ACS Nano.
N95 masks filter about 85 per cent of particles smaller than 300 nm, they mentioned.
The researchers famous that SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is within the measurement vary of 65-125 nanometres (nm), so some virus particles might slip by means of these coverings.
Resulting from shortages, many well being care employees have needed to put on the identical N95 masks repeatedly, despite the fact that they’re supposed for a single use.
To assist overcome these issues, Muhammad Mustafa Hussain and colleagues wished to develop a membrane that extra effectively filters particles the scale of SARS-CoV-2 and could possibly be changed on an N95 masks after each use.
The researchers first developed a silicon-based, porous template utilizing lithography and chemical etching.
They positioned the template over a polyimide movie and used a course of referred to as reactive ion etching to make pores within the membrane, with sizes starting from 5-55 nm.
The researchers then peeled off the membrane, which could possibly be hooked up to an N95 masks.
To make sure that the nanoporous membrane was breathable, the researchers measured the airflow fee by means of the pores.
They discovered that for pores tinier than 60 nm, the pores wanted to be positioned a most of 330 nm from one another to realize good breathability.
The hydrophobic membrane additionally cleans itself as a result of droplets slide off it, stopping the pores from getting clogged with viruses and different particles, in accordance with the researchers.