Berkeley Scientists Develop Rechargeable, Anti-COVID N95 Mask

Dec. 30, 2020
Scientists from Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley respond to shortcomings in PPE supply chain.

Scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley recognized early on in the COVID-19 pandemic that a shortage of and shortcomings in personal protective equipment might be alleviated by building a better mask, according to an article from SciTech Daily. They set out to improve upon the N95 mask – the gold standard for filtering out COVID-19 and other viruses but not without its limitations, including reuse and fit issues.

According to the article, materials scientists Jeff Urban and Peter Hosemann designed a reusable silicone N95 mask with a rechargeable, wire-mesh active filter. The wire mesh reportedly bears an electrostatic charge, which helps to trap and neutralize virus particles. The scientists are developing a 3D-printable, silicone-cast mold for the body of the mask to address problems related to fit. The innovations are still in the early stages of R&D according to the article, but progress has been swift. The project is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy National Virtual Biotechnology Laboratory: a consortium of DOE National laboratories with core capabilities relevant to the threats posed by COVID-19, and funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Read the entire article here.

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