Scientists develop “Face mask” that detects COVID infection in 90 minutes

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Kathmandu, July 25. A Joint team of scientists from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a ‘novel face mask’ that can detect COVID-19 infection in the wearer in less than 90 minutes.

In the research paper published in the Nature Biotechnology Journal, the authors have described that the mask is equipped with tiny disposable freeze-dried sensors that detect the presence of the viral nucleic acids in the breath of the person wearing the mask.

Co-author of the paper, James Collins, a professor at MIT, said that a broad range of synthetic biology sensors can be incorporated into clothing, to detect living nucleic acids, as well as toxic chemicals, including nerve toxins.

‘The face masks can be manually activated by the wearer whenever they wish to test. The sensors analyze the breath droplets on the inside of the mask. Within 90 minutes, the results are displayed on the inside of the mask, therefore, protecting the user’s privacy,’ the researchers explained.

The Lead Author of the paper, Scientist Peter Nguyen from Harvard University claimed that the test results given by the novel mask meet the “gold standard”. The test is similar to highly sensitive PCR tests but is as fast as the antigen test. 

Click here to read the detailed research article entitled “Wearable materials with embedded synthetic biology sensors for biomolecule detection” published in the Nature Biotechnology Journal on June 28, 2021.

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