July 14, 2024

Antiviral facemask claims to kill COVID

Scientists at Cambridge University say an antiviral coating on a new type
of facemask is capable of killing all mutations of coronavirus.

The fabric of the mask has an invisible coating that attacks the virus by
rapturing its outer layer, regardless of any mutations that may occur.

The unique face covering was developed by UK company LiquidNano and
has been tested by Dr Graham Christie of the Department of Chemical
Engineering & Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge.

The mask uses a new technology called DiOX that is based on quaternary
ammonium salts, which are widely used in the textile industry for their anti-
microbial properties.

Dr Christie commented: “The antiviral agent within the coating of the mask
kills the virus by breaching its protective outer membrane, which is known as
its envelope. Unlike other parts of the virus, the membrane remains the same
regardless of any type of mutation. Hence this way of attacking the pathogen
will work on any new variant of coronavirus.

“In fact, you could mutate the entire genome of the virus and it would have no
effect on the envelope. We expect to see the same response regardless of
the strain of coronavirus because structurally they are all very similar.”

Laboratory tests showed that the mask killed 95% of pathogens on its surface
within one hour and they were undetectable after four hours.

The mask is reusable and can be washed up to 20 times, albeit subject to a
reduction in efficacy after multiple washes.