Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in the United States have developed a mask that can diagnose the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes covid-19, in about 90 minutes.
As announced by the North American Institute (MIT), the masks, which are still in the prototype stage, integrate sensors that make it possible to detect various viruses, including the coronavirus that causes the covid-19 disease.
In a first phase, the sensors were developed for the diagnosis of the Ebola virus, with a recent study concluding that they can be used not only in face masks, but also in other personal protective equipment, such as medical gowns, allowing to monitor the exposure of professionals from health to pathogenic threats.
We anticipate that this platform may enable biosensors for emergency, medical and military personnel”, said James Collins, professor of medical engineering and science at MIT.
According to the investigation, published in an article published in the scientific journal Nature Biotechonoloy, the face mask sensors were designed so that they can be activated by those who use this equipment, with the results to be displayed only inside to ensure privacy.
The development of these masks with sensors is the result of a technology that has been perfected in recent years, but with the emergence of the covid-19 pandemic, researchers adapted them for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2.
In practice, sensors are placed on the inside of the mask to allow the detection of viral particles in those who wear it, analyzing, when they are triggered, the breath droplets accumulated inside and producing a result in about 90 minutes, announced the MIT .
This test is just as sensitive as the PCR tests, but it is as fast as the antigen tests that are used for rapid screening of covid-19″, said Peter Nguyen, a researcher at Harvard University, when advancing that the patent for this technology has already been applied for.