The masks quickly became the favorite accessory of people who return to travel and work in the community after confinement. Researchers from Harvard and MIT worked on the design of a mask capable of detecting the COVID 19, and indicate its presence in the wearer of the mask. This would allow early detection of virus by des sensors that trigger a light signal when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes.
This is not only because of the pandemic of coronavirus that researchers from Harvard and MIT set out to develop these masks detectors of contamination. For years, the bio-engineers develop sensors capable of detecting viruses such as Zika and Ebola.
The researcher Jim Collins specializes in pandemics since 2014, and his lab has begun to develop sensors capable of detecting the Ebola virus. In the context of a publication in 2016, his team had adapted the technology to deal with the growing threat of the virus, Zika.
A detection mask long-term
The sensors are comprised of genetic material – DNA-and – RNA that binds to a virus. This material is freeze-dried tissue using a machine called a freeze-dryer that sucks the moisture of the genetic material without the kill. It can remain stable at room temperature for several months, which gives the masks have a shelf life is relatively long.
This type of masks can he take us by surprise by revealing that it is contaminated?
The reporting of the presence of the virus on a mask or a paper is actually useful for cases where the infected is not aware that he is and wants to make it in the public space. Although very intrusive, this measure is similar to devices less reliable ones already in place, such as the taking of temperature. It could replace the thermal imaging cameras in airports, or the temperature controls at the school or at the workplace. It is important to question the systematic control of the temperature in the businesses, schools or airports, unreliable measure because many people who carry the virus do not develop fever.
A tool that rapidly identifies patients for better support
Doctors could even use them to diagnose patients on the spot (waiting for a few hours), without having to send samples to a laboratory. This would avoid the delays of testing, which hampered the ability of many countries to control lépidémie. The port is constantly such a mask would avoid these notification times.
This technology can work on paper masks, but also on the plastic, the quartz and the fabric. Collins believes that the current draft of his laboratory is in the “early stages”, but the results are promising.
In the near future, the early detection of disease could no longer be passed on by the laboratories. Analysis solutions in direct symptoms are experiencing very significant developments. Fitbit, a brand of watches connected, has launched a project with the university of Standford to be able to detect the coronavirus from the watches.