Scientists have developed a face mask that can detect common respiratory viruses within 10 minutes, such as influenza and Covid-19, in the air as droplets or aerosols, ANI reported.
Respiratory pathogens that cause COVID-19 and H1N1 influenza spread through small droplets and aerosols released by infected people when they talk, cough, and sneeze, says Yin Fang, the study’s corresponding author and a material scientist at Shanghai Tongji University.
The team designed a small sensor with aptamers, which are a type of synthetic molecule that can identify unique proteins of pathogens like antibodies.
In the future, if a new respiratory virus emerges, they can easily update the sensor’s design for detecting the novel pathogens, he adds.
Next, the team hopes to shorten the detection time and further increase the sensitivity of the sensor by optimizing the design of the polymers and transistors.