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May 8, 2020

Developing a mask that deactivates viruses

This is an interview with Jiaxing Huang, professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University, and Birgit Schwenzer, a program director in NSF’s Division of Materials Research. Huang has received a rapid response research (RAPID) grant to investigate anti-viral chemicals that can be safely built into masks to self-sanitize the passing respiratory droplets. Huang's team aims to design a drop-in solution that works generically with various types of masks to provide an additional function of deactivating viruses. The mask would help reduce the level of viruses in the droplets exhaled by infected wearers and better protect the healthcare workers or others around them.

Credit: National Science Foundation

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