A face mask, created by engineers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States, detects whether a user is infected with the new coronavirus in about 90 minutes. The results were published last Monday (28/6) in a scientific article in the journal Nature.
The engineers in charge say the technology has sensitivity compared to the gold standard RT-PCR tests (molecular), but with the advantage of time – the time it takes to reveal the results of these types of tests, whereas the tests using The mask – which is made of paper – can be done in up to 90 minutes.
The production cost is also attractive. Without taking into account the packaging, it took only US$5 to produce the prototype, which equated to about $25.
How does this work
To perform the test, the user must first use the mask for an average time of 15 to 30 minutes. After this period, he presses a button on the outside of the instrument and in about an hour and a half, the result is visible on the inner side of the mask. Biosensors are fitted inside the mask which are capable of detecting the viral particles through inhalation and exhalation.