A face mask that “kills more than 90% of flu and coronavirus” has been invented by Gareth Cave, a scientist and nanotechnology expert at Nottingham Trent University.
Cave said the new masks are due to go into production in Nottingham late November, adding that he is hopeful that they will be commercially available from December.
Daily Mail reports that the face masks will be available for healthcare, transport and food service settings.
It was learnt that the new mask uses a copper lining which kills the virus rather than blocking or trapping it.
The anti-viral face covering features a fluid-repellent outer layer that reduces the inhalation of droplets that carry the disease.
The face mask features five layers, including an antiviral layer made of nano-copper.
There is also a copper lining embedded in the mask which releases ions that kill the virus if they come into contact with it.
During tests, the face mask reportedly showed the ability to kill more than 90% of coronavirus and influenza viruses over seven hours, and had a filtration efficiency of 99.98%.
“The mask we’ve developed has been proven to inactivate viruses upon contact; the antiviral layer kills virus which has been blocked by the filter layers,” Gareth said.
“The challenge with conventional surgical-type masks is that they only block virus from entering or exiting the mask. They don’t have an active mechanism for killing it once it’s trapped in the mask.
“Our new antiviral mask has been designed to utilise the existing barrier technology and combine it with our nanotechnology to kill the virus once it is trapped there.
“We’ve added the barrier layer to both sides of the mask so not only does it protect the wearer but also those around. By killing the virus on contact, it also means that the used face mask can be safely disposed of and not be a potential source of passive transfer.
“It’s exciting to see our technology move forward and make a real impact towards the fight against the spread of COVID-19.”