Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have developed an accessible way to make N95 face masks not only effective barriers to germs, but on-contact germ killers. The antiviral, antibacterial masks can potentially be worn longer, causing less plastic waste as the masks do not need to be replaced as frequently.
Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have determined that heating N95 respirators up to 75 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes deactivates a surrogate coronavirus without compromising the device’s fit and its ability to filter airborne particles.
Many people reuse masks and other face coverings many times without sanitizing them. That is likely because current sanitization methods can be cumbersome. A new device using a hanging rack and UV-C light can sterilize up to six masks and other items simultaneously and quickly, killing bacteria, yeasts, mold spores, and viruses. This device has shown its efficacy against pathogens including the highly-contagious E-coli, which was eradicated in about one minute.
Engineers have invented a way to spray extremely thin wires made of a plant-based material that could be used in N95 mask filters, devices that harvest energy for electricity, and potentially the creation of human organs. The method involves spraying methylcellulose, a renewable plastic material derived from plant cellulose, on 3D-printed and other objects ranging from electronics to plants, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Materials Horizons.
They found that gently heating N95 masks in high relative humidity could inactivate SARS-CoV-2 virus trapped within the masks, without degrading the masks’ performance.
N95 masks achieve 95% efficiency at filtering out tiny 0.3-micron particles, while maintaining reasonable breathability, thanks to a layer of polypropylene fibers incorporating electrical charges to attract particles. Extended usage and decontamination, provoked by severe shortages during the pandemic, can easily remove the charges and degrade filtration efficiency. In Physics of Fluids, researchers share a method to restore the filtration efficiency of N95 masks to out-of-box levels, as long as the mask is not structurally compromised.
Two Rutgers-led studies have identified a more rapid method to decontaminate N95 masks using vaporized hydrogen peroxide – making reuse of masks more economically feasible and practical for health care workers on the frontlines against COVID-19.
Infection prevention experts at the UNC Medical Center set out to gather evidence on the fitted filtration efficiency of dozens of different types of masks and mask modifications, including masks sterilized for reuse, expired masks, novel masks sourced from domestic and overseas sources, and homemade masks.
A media comprised of a sandwich of materials, tested by Sandia National Laboratories, is being manufactured into N95-like respirators that could be used in local medical facilities. The project originated from the urgent need for personal protective equipment when the COVID-19 outbreak began.
“To mask or to not mask” is no longer the primary question dominating the COVID-19 public discourse. As states reopen amid the pandemic, the question now is, “Should face coverings be required in public?” Mandates vary by state. In West…
Necessity being the mother of invention, Houston Methodist clinicians, researchers and staff have collaborated on a number of clinical device and research innovations in response to COVID-19. Houston Methodist Academic Institute leadership has continually emphasized translational research in new technologies.
Amid shortages of personal protective equipment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a St. Louis health care system has implemented a process to disinfect disposable N95 respirator masks that allows health care workers to reuse their own mask for up to 20 cycles.
Engineers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have designed sterilization stations that use ultraviolet light to kill the coronavirus on any contaminated personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 masks and face shields.
The lab is responding to the coronavirus crisis by imaging disease-related biomolecules, developing standards for reliable coronavirus testing and enabling other essential research.
With the number of COVID-19 cases expected to surge in the U.S. and N95 mask supplies dwindling, medical communities are desperately looking for alternative solutions for disinfecting masks that healthcare workers are being forced to reuse. Nationally known expert in disinfectant methods, Jim Malley, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of New Hampshire, says methods like UV light, heat & humidity and vaporized hydrogen peroxide are the best known viable practices and while they are not long-term solutions, if used correctly, they can be effective in emergency situations.
The N95 respirator masks should be preserved for health-care workers involved in inserting breathing tubes for patients with COVID-19. More common medical masks are fine for all other COVID-19 treatment, says preliminary research from McMaster University.
University of Kentucky researcher Dibakar Bhattacharyya has the concept and the means to develop a medical face mask that would capture and deactivate the COVID-19 virus on contact.
Engineers at Binghamton University, State University are testing prototypes of ventilator adapters, masks, face shields and a UV sterilizing technique to help local healthcare partners during the coronavirus pandemic.
Engineers at Binghamton University, State University of New York are stepping up on several fronts to help regional healthcare providers deal with the coronavirus pandemic.