This Prototype Face Mask by IU Researchers Kills Coronavirus

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Staying home, maintaining social distance, and wearing masks are some vital health guidelines issued by World Health Organizations and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. But none of these guidelines could help us stay fully protected against the novel virus, until now.

According to Chandan Sen, Director of Regenerative Medicine and Engineering center at Indiana University, the novel coronavirus cannot survive in specific electroceutical forces. This led Sen and his team to discover an electroceutical fabric that not only repels or blocks coronavirus but also kills it. These coronavirus-repelling properties are found in the fabric that’s already used in the medical field, and it can be used for making virus-killing face masks.

Sen further said that in the coronavirus, you have this single-stranded RNA and the capsule. The association of the RNA and the capsule, which is the functional entity of the virus, is based on electrostatic force.

Vomaris Innovation, a Tempe Arizona-based company that manufactures the fabric, has taken the electroceutical fabric and modified it for PPE for a prototype face mask. The manufacturers have added bio-compatible microcell batteries outside the face mask fabric. When these microcell batteries are activated using an activation solution, an electrical field is generated that lasts for several hours. This electric field is deadly for the virus but harmless for humans.

Sen and his team have tested this fabric with the coronavirus and found that the virus died within the period of one minute to one hour, after coming in contact with the electrical field. He says that if a mask fabric is coated with these electrical fields, the coronavirus would lose its ability to infect.

The team of researchers is in communication with the FDA to begin the distribution of these electroceutical face mask within a few weeks. However, there’s no word on its pricing yet. These masks are also said to work against influenza.