School of Engineering helps to create mask that inactivates coronavirus

2C2T from EEUM and Citeve are part of a consortium that created the first protective mask that inactivates the new coronavirus.

The first textile and reusable mask with proven capacity to inactivate the new coronavirus, responsible for Covid-19, was created in Portugal, in a cooperation project between the business, academic and scientific community, of which the University of Minho is part, through research center 2C2T – Center for Science and Textile Technology, and Citeve – Technological Center for the Textile and Clothing Industries of Portugal.

The MOxAd-Tech mask “successfully passed the tests carried out by the João Lobo Antunes Institute of Molecular Medicine, making it the first mask capable of inactivating the SARS-CoV-2 virus”, informs the consortium responsible for the innovation.

Composed by the manufacturer Adalberto, the retailer of the Sonae Fashion (Mo) group, the Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes, Citeve and UMinho, this project “of cooperation between the business, academic and scientific community” allowed “the development of a high performance reusable mask ”, which in addition to being made of a fabric with antimicrobial characteristics, now has additional protection.

After several tests carried out by the Institute of Molecular Medicine João Lobo Antunes, it was concluded that “the mask benefits from an innovative coating that neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus when it comes into contact with the tissue, an effect that remains even after 50 washings”.

Pedro Simas, researcher and virologist, explains in a press release that “tests with the MOxAdtech mask revealed an effective inactivation of SARSCoV-2 even after 50 washes, where a 99% viral reduction was observed after one hour of contact with the virus, according to the test parameters indicated in the international standard”.

“In a simplified way, these tests consist of the analysis of the tissue after contact with a solution that contains a certain amount of virus, whose viability is measured over time”, says the expert. These masks, produced in Portugal, are already being sold for 10 euros in the country and also throughout the European Union.

2C2T integrates other projects to help combat the pandemic

Replacing disposable masks in a hospital context is one of the projects that 2C2T is committed to. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic that affected the world, millions of disposable masks are used daily by all professionals working in hospitals. Now, the purpose of this research center is to develop a reusable mask for use in a hospital context. Fernando Ferreira, director of 2C2T, assures that this project will be an asset, mainly, in “environmental” terms.

The director also states that, currently, the researcher Andrea Zille is working, in partnership with Hospital Pedro Hispano, in Matosinhos, to develop a “hospital material sterilization and disinfection chamber”.

Learn more about this project at http://www.engium.uminho.pt/en/eeum-initiatives-in-the-fight-against-covid-19-2/

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