Engineers Create New Face Mask That Can Detect COVID-19
Here's something that I guess you could consider being pretty life-changing. Engineers at MIT and Harvard have designed a novel face mask that can diagnose the wearer with Covid-19.
The face mask is embedded with tiny sensors that are based on freeze-dried cellular machinery that the research team has previously developed for use in paper diagnostics for viruses such as Ebola and Zika.
WHDH/7 News Boston reports the mask can diagnose at accuracy levels similar to standard diagnostic tests and detect COVID-19 within 90 minutes of a person being exposed.
Imagine that. Wearable masks with biosensors that can detect the COVID-19 virus on the wearer's breath. Also, according to researchers, that very same sensor technology could be used to create clothing that would detect a number of pathogens and viruses.
Researchers say they hope they can be used where masks are still required under CDC guidelines and in future pandemics. The face mask sensors are designed so that they can be activated by the wearer when they’re ready to perform the test. And, the results are only displayed on the inside of the mask for privacy.
MIT researcher Luis Soenksen had this to say:
At the end of the day, what we wanted to do was basically to blend both to potentially produce a product that was more easily incentivized patients to both wear a mask and to get tested. Essentially we compress the biological functionality of many living systems that can sense things around into a format that we can put into something that very much looks like ramen noodles. That their reactions are preserved in a particular way to just add water and boom the reaction happens.
It truly is a fascinating study. For more on the story, please visit WHDH's website here.