One of the biggest problems regarding the coronavirus pandemic is its contagiousness. Masks have been an essential tool in curbing that. However, the immense contagiousness of the virus makes it difficult to feel safe in any public space. Simply because we do not know where it might be lurking!
However, Japanese researchers seem to have come with an innovative solution. They have created a special face mask that will glow if it has been exposed to the Covid-19 virus and UV light is shone on it. So, if everything goes well, this may be the latest technological advancements when it comes to preventing the pandemic.
The Creation Of The Face Mask
The special mask was created by researchers at Japan’s Kyoto Prefectural University. Kyodo News, a news agency of Japan that covered the invention, said that the mask will let wearers know quickly and easily about the possibility of contracting the virus. The team hopes that the government will soon approve of their invention. They hope to start selling them by next year, latest.
So, how does the mask detect the virus? Apparently, the secret is the eggs of Ostriches. Ostriches have been found to create different antibodies that combat the Covid-19 virus.
Knowing this, the team made the special mask filter. The antibodies are extracted from the eggs of ostrich and sprayed onto the filter. It also contains a dye that is fluorescent. So, if the virus contacts the filter, the areas that are contaminated will glow up when an Ultraviolet light is shown on the filter.
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Yasuhiro Tsukamoto, the project’s research lead and the university’s president, said that they can produce ostrich antibodies for the masses at very effective prices. His plans for the future involve transforming the setup into a testing kit that will be easy enough to be used by anyone.
The Face Mask’s Efficacy
Tsukamoto explained that he experienced the efficacy of the mask first-hand. He got to know that he had been infected with the coronavirus after he put it on. After shining a UV light on it, he found out that the mask glowed up. Sure enough, after getting a proper test, the test results returned positive.
To test out the effectiveness of the face mask, the team tried out the invention on 32 people who are known to have the covid-19 virus. They were told to wear these special masks. In the first few days, the UV light lit up the masks indicating the presence of the virus. However, the glow gradually faded and was almost gone after 10 days. This was an indication of the viral load decreasing.
However, the mask must undergo many more tests before the team can ask for approval from the government. The next step in their experiments is to try them out on 150 patients suffering from coronavirus.
The coronavirus pandemic will become a lot easier to deal with if we can quickly identify the infected from the healthy. The world is yet to recover from the wake of the covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, there are multiple new variants rearing its head almost every month. As such, innovations such as these masks will be extremely helpful in getting past this pandemic once and for all.
Image credit: Kyoto Prefectural University