A woman tests a face mask fitted with a biosensor.
Mustafa Al-Zoubi, Gulf Today
Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in the United States have developed a mask that detects coronavirus in the wearer’s breath within 90 minutes.
It is provided with advanced biosensor technology. The sensor technology can be programmed to detect any type of virus or toxins.
They are small enough to fit into pockets lab coats for scientists working with hazardous materials or pathogens.
The idea is based on a new technology called “wFDCF,” which has been under development for several years, during the emergence of the Ebola virus, and its testing was accelerated due to COVID-19.
"We wanted to contribute to the global effort to combat the virus, and came up with the idea of incorporating wFDCF into face masks to detect it," explains Peter Nguyen, a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“This technology can detect virus as good as PCR tests with speed and low cost of antigen tests,” Nguyen said.
The scientists explained that activating the biosensors in the masks with button, triggers the release of a small tank of water that moistens the freeze-dried particles in the sensor, which analyses the droplets from the breaths, and a small strip of paper records the positive or negative status and sends the results of the sensor data to an application’s smartphone.
The solution aims to prevent cases of children being accidentally left on school buses and improve safety standards in the UAE.
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