Engineers designed an affordable, reusable face mask that’s as effective as an N95.
At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, shortage of N95 respirator masks presented a dire situation for the healthcare and frontline workers who needed them most. Essential workers who relied on N95 masks had no choice but to wear what were meant to be disposable N95 masks for weeks at a time. Some started disinfecting the masks to be redistributed and reused.
Now, as Covid-19 infections surge and states such as Texas and Florida and hospitals and healthcare workers once again become overwhelmed with the volume of patients, N95 respirators still remain in short supply.
But engineers and researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have a created a new type of face mask that could be a game-changer. In a laboratory setting, the prototype worked as well as a N95 respirator at filtering out virus-containing particles.