Researchers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Saudi Arabia claim to have developed a more safe mask than N95.
This mask is claimed to have more safety membrane than N95 which can block the various viruses from being through. The mask can be used over N95 and can be replaced as an when needed.
Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19 there has been a shortage of supply for the N-95 mask they said. However in their journal ACS Nano they have mentioned that though the mask provides the highest level of protection today it has certain limitations.
85% of particles of size 300 nm can be blocked by the N-95 mask. The scientist has observed that SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19 has a particle size of 65-125 nm and some particles could slip through this new mask.
Many healthcare workers had to wear the same mask repeatedly due to shortage and in order to overcome this Muhammad Mustafa Hussain and his colleagues wanted to develop such a membrane that can block many particles of SARS-CoV-2 and which can be replaced on N-95 after every use.
Initially, the researchers developed a silicon-based porous template using lithography and chemical etching further they placed the same template over a polyimide film and using a technique called reactive ion etching they created pores in the membrane to the size of 5-55 nm the researchers further pealed the membrane which now could be attached to the N-95 mask.
To check the safety measures that the protective layers were breathable the researchers measured the airflow rate of the pores.
In order to achieve good breathability pores tinier than 60 nm needed to be placed at a distance of 300 nm. According to the researchers due to droplets sliding off it the hydrophobic membrane gets cleaned by itself preventing the pores from getting clogged by other particles and viruses.
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