Start-up Orbis, based in Mill Valley, California, is developing an in-wheel electric drive system for automakers, but has temporarily turned to mask development after evaluating available materials. It developed a BioAid mask that looks different from most health masks you’ve ever seen because its philosophy is that the best masks are ready to make.
Its shell acts like a retail blister ingest, while its filter is made of HEPA material used in many household furnace filters and has been proven by NASA to be an efficient particle filter, adding barrier materials to each side. BioAid has not yet passed the N95 certification, but co-inventor Marcus Hays believes it will soon be certified, and as the CDC mask guidelines expand, the mask has value as the coronavirus develops.
The front of the BioAid mask shell has breathing holes, while the back of the breathing holes is a two-inch square common HEPA air filtration material. Most importantly, compared to the traditional N95, its filtration area is very small, HEPA material is considered to be a relatively effective medium to capture the virus, especially when the virus is attached to larger carrier particles such as aerosol mucus or saliva and other carrier particles, the material is more effective.
Unlike a regular N95 mask, bioAid masks can be cleaned with soap and water, or on the top rack of the dishwasher. This reusable feature should help reduce the cost of effectiveness, even though the price is higher than the traditional N95 mask, but Orbis considers BioAid’s easy cleaning and reusability to be an important feature.