Monday, May 18, 2020

A face mask that can kill coronavirus on contact is in the works

 By Chris Smith @chris_writes

Early on, we were told face masks weren’t necessary, but as more evidence came in, it became clear that we should all be wearing masks. Talking loudly and singing are enough to emit tiny droplets that may be invisible to the naked eye, but they can contain viral loads that are potentially infectious. The CDC revised its guidance on masks a few weeks ago, advising people to wear any sort of face cover if medical face masks and respirators aren’t available in stores.

Wearing masks while indoors is advisable, although the masks aren’t perfect. They can’t offer total protection. Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth after handling the mask, or while using it, is risky, as the virus can be present on all sorts of surfaces you’ve touched, including the mask. But researchers are now working on a face mask that would be able to kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus on contact.

Researchers from the University of Kentucky are working on an outer face mask layer that could include a membrane featuring enzymes that would be able to capture and kill the virus. The enzymes would attach to the SARS-CoV-2 component that binds to human cells — the protein spikes — and separate them. The virus would be killed on contact.  Read more >>