A partnership between Spanish researchers and corporations is developing new face mask technology in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The masks use non-woven textiles modified with graphene and other materials. Most of the masks being sold as protective face coverings today are non-woven polypropylene. The team believes its research will greatly enhance the capabilities of face-worn masks.
Researchers at the Condensed Matter Physics Centre (IFIMAC) of the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) are working to produce better, safer fabrics than the masks available today, which could help the wearer avoid infectious pathogens and viral particles.
“Our intention is to incorporate two-dimensional materials such as graphene and/or derivatives thereof, such as graphene oxide, which would generate an antiviral barrier specifically effective in the case of SARS-CoV-2,” write the authors of the project.
The team is looking to use a simple, scalable production process building off a process their research group has patented to develop graphene ink.
“Our end-goal is to develop a technology that helps make facemasks more effective and comfortable—that is, prophylactic textiles that are designed to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus in general, but are adaptable to other viruses,” the team explains.