- Title: Smart Mask
- Program: SAL cooperative project
- Project leader: Johanna Zikulnig
- Duration: 15 Months
Respirator face masks (N95 and N99 type) are critical supplies for healthcare workers and medical first responders. They are intended to reduce a wearer’s exposure to particles, including aerosols, by filtering out at least 95 % (N95 type) or 99 % (N99 type) of the particles. As such, respirators are also heavily used in jobs that expose workers to dust and small particles. The outbreak of COVID-19 has posed a serious threat to public health, leading to a worldwide shortage of respirators. Washing and drying followed by an electrostatic treatment allow reusing respirators, dramatically improving this situation. However, the filter function deteriorates over time and an efficient way to ensure that the usage is still safe is urgently called for.
The objective is a low-cost and efficient solution that transforms common respirators into smart masks, which will provide information about the mask’s condition. These devices will be able to withstand the harsh conditions the respirators are exposed to during the decontamination process and to operate even after many years of storage.
Your contact person
Johanna Zikulnig, MSc
The project is funded under the SAL cooperative research program.