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Russia will create new masks to protect against coronavirus



The discussion of new technologies that can enhance individual protection against coronavirus has been going on for a long time. A joint research group of specialists from MEPhI, the Kurchatov Institute and other leading Russian centers suggested moving away from the usual approach to masks and respirators.

Masks do not fit snugly around the face and are not the most effective means of protection, and respirators make breathing difficult. Moreover, the valves installed in them remove moisture and heat during breathing without filtration, which is why respirators do not protect others.

But there is also a common problem – the effectiveness of the filter material. Dangerous are particles several hundred nanometers in size, capable of penetrating deep into the lungs, into the alveolar regions. Therefore, PPE is often useless.

Scientists have proposed to create a nanofiber with a porous structure. Porous fibers can slow down the air flow rate, which increases the chances of trapping viral particles. According to experts, the use of polymer fibers and the development of multilayer materials on their basis are promising. The proposed four-layer design provided effective filtration of particles in the range of 50-500 nm – the most important for protection against the virus.

They are supposed to be produced using electrospinning. With this method, you can set any fiber direction and change it if necessary. It is best, according to scientists, to arrange the fibers in a criss-cross pattern, such a mesh will make it easy to breathe, but at the same time it will catch particles. And for their maximum effect, you need to set different potentials on the fibers, which can be formed using compact batteries attached to respirators and masks.

For individual aids to be comfortable, they must be truly individual. Scientists propose to achieve this effect by printing masks and respirators on 3D printers, based on scans of the future owner’s face.

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