Face masks help prevent the entry of viral particles into the nose and mouth and also help prevent those who are infected from exposing others to the virus. In a study, the team found that electrospun nanofiber membranes removed 99.9% of coronavirus aerosols. The cotton mask and neck gaiter removed only 45-75% of aerosols.
The surgical mask removed 98% of the coronavirus aerosols. the researchers designed and developed electrospun nanofibrous air filters, which hold promise for applications in personal protection equipment. The nanofibers, which are less than 300 nanometers in size, have a smaller pore size than surgical and cloth masks. To produce the nanofiber, the team sent a high electrical voltage through a drop of liquid polyvinylidene fluoride to spin threads about 300 nanometers in diameter, which is about 167 times thinner than a human hair. With the small-sized pores, the fiber can filter particles more effectively.
The team used a coronavirus strain as a SARS-CoV-2 surrogate to produce aerosols for filtration efficacy tests. This way, the researchers were able to compare all the air filters and fabrics. The electrospun air filters showed good performance in the study, capturing 99.9 percent of coronavirus aerosols.
Ref Link: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.1c00337