A team of researchers are working on an anti-viral face mask that could kill coronavirus upon making contact. A team led by Dibakar Bhattacharyya at the University of Kentucky is working on developing a face mask that will ‘capture and deactivate’ SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus.
Bhattacharyya has already secured a grant worth $150,000 from the National Science Foundation. He says that the mask will take around six months to be completed. “The novel coronavirus is covered in club-shaped ‘s-protein’ spikes, which give it its crownlike, or coronal, appearance,” he said. “The protein spikes are also what allows the virus to enter host cells once in the body. This new membrane will include proteolytic enzymes that will attach to the protein spikes of the coronavirus and separate them, killing the virus.” He also said that the chances of the virus infecting others would be reduced since it is killed on the surface itself.
Once the mask becomes a tested membrane mask, it would then be mass-produced through a manufacturer to be sold and distributed for global consumption. If successful, the mask will have other applications such a protecting one against other human pathogenic viruses.