Face masks have become a staple of everyday life amid the coronavirus pandemic. But with medical-grade masks and respirators in short supply for healthcare workers and civilians making do with makeshift fabric versions, scientists are racing to engineer more effective, antimicrobial, and reusable facial protection for everyone. So far, they’re looking at copper-infused fabric (which is already available in some face masks, ranging from $10 to $70 a pop), the wonder material graphene, and the chemicals in everyday cleaning supplies.
None of these experimental masks or mask add-ons have yet been tested for efficacy against COVID-19. But scientists think they’re promising. “What we can do best is really to show people that this idea works,” says Jiaxing Huang, a professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University. “That’s our contribution: Speed up the technical solutions.” Read more here