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Novel Face Mask Can Recognize Viral Exposure

Oct, 2022

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Researchers create a mask that alerts wearers when a virus is in the air. When the aptamers bind to the target proteins in the air, the ion-gated transistor connected to it will magnify the signal and notify the wearers via mobile devices.

Scientists have designed a face mask that have a potentiality to detect common respiratory viruses, that are unseen in the air as droplets.The sensitive mask, which was introduced on September 19, 2022 in the journal Matter, can alert wearers via mobile devices if certain specific viruses are present in the surrounding air for longer than 10 minutes. This study is conducted by Yin Fang, material scientist at Shanghai Tongji University.

The COVID-19 and H1N1 influenza respiratory bacteria release microscopic droplets and spread into the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or talks. These virus-containing droplets can linger in the air for a very long time, especially the tiny particles.

Spraying the viral surface protein-containing liquid and aerosols with trace amounts on the mask allowed Fang and his colleagues to test it in a closed-off space. The sensor responded to as few as 0.3 microliters of fluid that included viral proteins, which is far less than the volume of liquid produced by coughing. A tiny sensor was created by the team using aptamers, a class of synthetic molecule that can recognise specific pathogen proteins like antibodies. The proof-of-concept design used by the researchers' upgraded the number of cosensor.So that it could recognise the surface proteins of H1N1,SARS-CoV-2 and H5N1 viruses at the same time.

Once the particular proteins in the environment are linked by the aptamers, the associated ion-gated transistor will boost the signal and notify the users through smart phones. The mask can identify even tiny amounts of viruses in the air within 10 minutes thanks to a revolutionary kind of very sensitive gadget called an ion-gated transistor.

Furthermore, by improving the transistor and polymer designs, the team wants to shorten detection times and increase sensor sensitivity.After, getting success in this invention, researchers are developing wearable medical equipment to treat ailments including cardiovascular problems and cancer.

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