Researchers are currently in the process of designing a next-gen face mask that would come with the benefit of being able to destroy SARS-CoV-2.
Scientists from the University of Kentucky are currently working hard at designing a face mask that comes with a charged outer layer that includes a membrane of enzymes that can capture and destroy the COVID-19 virus upon contact. Basically, the enzymes would bind to the SARS-CoV-2 component of the virus and separate the protein spikes, thus rendering the virus dead.
On top of that, the mask can also remove the viral particles through the air, and even change color once it has detected the virus. The researchers say that the mask would be very thin, and that users will be able to "very easily" breathe while it's being worn. At the moment, there is still no word on when these anti-viral masks will be ready, or how much they will cost, or if they will even be reusable. More research is still needed to be done to make sure these masks work correctly and are not endangering the user.
Chemical engineering professor Dibakar Bhattacharyya told Newsweek, "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 continued, "This innovation would further slow and even prevent the virus from spreading. It would also have future applications to protect against a number of human pathogenic viruses."
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