Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

Innovation! Now Mask will test for Covid-19 infection, will tell the result within 90 minutes

Engineers from MIT and Harvard University have developed a new face mask that can confirm the wearer to COVID-19 infection within about 90 minutes. The masks are embedded with small, disposable sensors that can be fitted to any other face mask and adapted to detect other viruses.

The sensors are based on freeze-dried cellular machinery that the team of researchers previously developed for use in paper diagnostics for viruses such as Ebola and Zika. In a new study, researchers show that sensors can be incorporated not only in face masks but also in clothing such as lab coats, potentially monitoring health care workers’ exposure to a variety of pathogens or other hazards. offers a new approach.

James Collins, Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering and Science in MIT’s Institute of Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and Department of Medicine, said: “We have shown that we can detect toxic chemicals including viral or bacterial nucleic acids, as well as nerve toxins Synthetic biology can freeze-dry a wide range of sensors. We envision that this platform could enable next generation wearable biosensors for first responders, health care workers and military personnel.”

private result
Face mask sensors are designed so that they are activated by the wearer when they are ready to test, and the results are only displayed inside the mask for user privacy.

Features of diagnostic face mask
As researchers were finishing their work on the wearable sensor in early 2020, COVID-19 began to spread around the world, so they quickly tried to use their technology to create a diagnostic for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. decided.

To make their diagnostic face mask, the researchers embedded a freeze-dried Sherlock sensor into a paper mask. Like wearable sensors, freeze-dry components are surrounded by a silicone elastomer. In such a situation, sensors are placed on the inside of the mask, so that they can detect viral particles in the breath of the mask wearer.

The mask also includes a small reservoir of water, which is released at the push of a button when the wearer is ready to take the test. It hydrates the freeze-dry component of the SARS-CoV-2 sensor, which analyzes the respiratory droplets that have accumulated inside the mask and produces results within 90 minutes.

Nguyen says, “This test is as sensitive as the gold standard and highly sensitive like the PCR test, but it is as fast as the antigen tests, which are used for quick analysis of COVID-19.”

The prototype developed in this study has sensors inside the mask to detect the user’s position, as well as sensors placed on the outside of clothing to detect exposure from the environment. Researchers can also swap in sensors for other pathogens, including influenza, Ebola, and Zika, or sensors they have developed to detect organophosphate nerve agents.

Showrunners file patent for technology
The researchers have applied for a patent on the technology and they now hope to work with a company to further develop the sensor. Collins says face masks are the first application that could be made available.


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