Researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are working to develop a mask that can detect whether a wearer is infected with the new coronavirus, ACCORDING to US media reports. Jim Collins, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told the media that researchers are adjusting sensors they began developing in 2014 to detect the Ebola virus in response to a new coronavirus pandemic.
Researchers at two universities published their study in 2016 when they adapted the technology to combat the Zika virus.
The mask under development will reportedly send a fluorescent signal if the wearer is breathing, coughing or sneezing if he has been infected with the new coronavirus.
Mr Collins said the project was still in its “very early stages” but the results were promising. They hope to prove that the concept is feasible in the next few weeks.
The team is testing the sensor’s ability to detect viruses with very few saliva samples. The researchers are also experimenting with installing sensors in masks and developing a module that can be connected to other over-the-counter masks.
The virus identification technology has been said to have been used in other viruses, including SARS, measles, influenza, hepatitis C and West Nile virus.
With the lifting of epidemic restrictions, the mask could be used to diagnose new coronavirus patients and screen in public transport, Collins said.
“When we open our borders, you can imagine that when we go through security, when we wait to get on the plane, it will be used at the airport,” he said. You or I can use it on the way to and from work. Hospitals can use it as a pre-screening for who is infected when a patient comes in or waits in the waiting room. “
Collins said the lab’s goal is to start producing the masks by the end of the summer and making them available to the public.