COVID-19: Impregnation of BODIPY photosensitizers in disposable mask fabric to reduce COVID‑19 viral loading
In the current COVID‑19 pandemic, masks are essential to ensure the safety of frontline healthcare workers from viral infections. Wearing face mask by the general public has also been increasingly accepted as a means to slow the spread of coronavirus, which will be particularly important in environments where maintaining safe social distance is challenging. This proposal will develop a means to reduce the risk of contracting COVID‑19 by touching virus-contaminated masks. Toward this goal, dyes that can be activated in ambient light will be incorporated into the outer layer of disposable masks. Upon activation of the dyes, viruses that are deposited on the mask will be inactivated through photochemical reactions. This method of virus inactivation will improve the level of protection of the general public by reduction of the risk of infections while wearing face masks.