Harvard And MIT Scientists Have Created Face Masks For Detecting COVID

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The outbreak of COVID-19 has initiated several medical and technological breakthroughs to keep humans safe from the virus or to check the spread of the virus. Different kinds of masks, temperature measuring devices and now the vaccine is some of the innovations which were instigated by the exponential and appalling spread of the virus. At present, the intensity of the pandemic may have been reduced but the spread is still prevalent and protective measures are needed.

The detection of covid-19 is usually confirmed by a PCR tests or an antigen test which is another process of getting a sample swab from the nasal cavity or the throat cavity and then testing it for the presence of the virus. Scientists have developed a more convenient method of this detection and the results are almost as accurate as a PCR test.

The invention is that of a face mask. One must wear the face mask for around 90 minutes for it to detect the virus. The sensors will detect any kind of toxic materials or viruses and can be embedded in the fabric without any hassle. This technology is named as wFDCF (wearable freeze-dried cell-free) which does not require live cell incorporation for it to function smoothly. There have been similar developments, but those biosensors trap the virus and then will release them on tear. This poses as a threat for further spread of the virus, making these biosensors more dangerous. Hence, wFDCF is deemed more suitable for the purpose.

This technology was earlier used in the identification of Ebola and the Zika virus. The same technology is now modified to fit the ongoing pandemic of covid-19. The project was initiated in May 2020 when the pandemic was in its initial stages and the global lockdown was made effective recently. This technology can be incorporated in other pieces of fabric as well to determine the level of exposure to the virus and other toxic materials. Hence, it shows great promise in the field of medicine and technology.

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