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COVID-Detecting Face Masks

Using similar technology from paper diagnostic tests for viruses like Ebola and Zika, researchers have designed face masks that could detect SARS-CoV-2 viruses in the breath of the wearer. By activating and then wearing the mask, the user will be able to see whether or not they are shedding the virus within 90 minutes of putting on the mask. The wearer checks inside the mask for the indicator strips to see their result.

MIT and Harvard engineers based the design on freeze-dried cellular machinery, similar to paper-based tests used in other viral diagnostics. When the sensors are activated by water (stored in a small reservoir until needed), they will interact with whatever DNA or RNA sequence they have been programmed to recognize.

The researchers are hoping that masks, lab coats, and other kinds of personal protective equipment (PPE) could be made with their designs for front line workers and laboratory technicians who could be exposed to viruses. Read more at SciTechDaily.