New strategies to Fabricate High-Performance Face Masks Filters Against COVID-19

Riahi, Reza | $50,000

Ontario University of Windsor 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

The rise of the COVID‑19 pandemic has exposed the need for readily accessible high grade personal protective equipment (PPE). The limited supply of essential protective equipment such as N95 face masks, that have been determined to aid in minimizing the spread of this disease, has proven detrimental to both health professionals and the public. However, substitutes such as homemade masks only provide one-way protection for those around and little for the user, while surgical masks offer limited protection due to the high particle size penetration provided by its mechanical filters as opposed to the low penetration size offered by the N95 masks. The difficulty of accessing the N95 face masks or similar are further compounded as its manufacture majorly occurs outside Canada. This research project proposes the development of locally produced activated nano-fiber layers produced by an electrospinning method to fabricate filters of higher performance than the N95 masks. This method would be used to produce masks that are highly electrically charged, highly porous, absorbent, anti-viral with hydrophobic layers that dispel the absorption of excess moisture. The results from this project will be readily and easily transferable to the Canadian industries to produce highly efficient mask filters for protection against the COVID‑19 for both the users and those around.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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