As announced today 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 the first phase, sensors were developed to diagnose the Ebola virus, with a recent study concluding that they could be used not only in face masks, but in other personal protective equipment as well. , such as a medical gown, allowing surveillance. Professionals’ exposure to health to pathogenic hazards.
“We anticipate that this platform could enable biosensors for emergency, medical and military personnel,” said James Collins, a professor of medical engineering and science at MIT.
According to the investigation, published in an article published in the scientific journal Nature Biotechnoloy, face mask sensors were designed so that they could be activated by those using the device, the results of which could only be displayed 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 to diagnose SARS-CoV-2.
In practice, sensors are placed inside the mask, which allow it to detect viral particles in the wearer, analyze, when they are triggered, the respiratory droplets that accumulate inside, and in about 90 minutes produce results, MIT announced.
Peter Nguyen, a researcher at Harvard University, said, “This test is just as sensitive as PCR tests, but it is as fast as antigen tests, which are used to rapidly screen for Covid-19,” adding that That it has already been asked for a patent. of this technology.