Abu Dhabi Researchers Find New Mask Technology Could Filter Out Viruses

October 27, 2021
One the left are two shots of mask fibers before being sprayed with imitation Covid particles. On the right you can see how one mask performed better at trapping the particles in the fibers. Photo: Dr. Ayman Rezk


By Shireena Al Nowais


Researchers in Abu Dhabi are developing a technology that could allow masks to filter out specific viruses such as Covid-19 and the flu.


Associate professor at Khalifa University Dr Ammar Nayfeh and a team of academics and doctors are working on creating this new face mask using nanotechnology.


“The idea is to create specific fibers with certain bonds that will filter out the virus,” said Dr Nayfeh.


Scientists across the world are using nanoparticles in mask designs due to their ability to slow or stop the spread of microorganisms.


‘Nano masks’ are actually already in use. Made with nanoparticle fabric they are widely available and most people have been wearing them since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the design has stayed the same despite the virus particle size changing.


Scientists at Khalifa University used silicon nanoparticles encapsulated in aerosol to resemble the covid virus during testing. It was then sprayed onto two different masks with different fibre densities to demonstrate what would happen upon contact.


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