Lisbon: A group of scientists from Portugal claimed that they have developed face masks that can destroy the Covid-19 virus. This MOxAD-Tech mask has been developed as part of a joint initiative between Portuguese textile manufacturer Adalberto, fashion retailer MO, and the Lisbon-based Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM).
Masks have been on the front line of the attempt to inhibit the spread of coronavirus since the World Health Organisation (WHO) changed its guidance on wearing them in early June. Despite the broad scientific consensus on masks, many people remain unconvinced by their effectiveness. This scepticism could be assuaged by the formulation of a fabric coating that “inactivates” Covid-19 virus on impact.
The coating has now been ratified by a series of tests carried out at the IMM – so while a close-up of the MOxAD may look like an ordinary mask, but in reality, it is not.
Pedro Simas, the lead virologist on the project, revealed that the mask “effectively inactivated” Covid-19, even after 50 washes, and reduced the virus by 99 per cent, one hour after contact. The mask may be harmful to coronavirus but tests have also proven it to be completely harmless to humans, raising the intriguing prospect that the coating could be rolled out on other items. But Mr Simas has dampened optimism that it is a sole solution. He told the media that it was “just another tool, another element on a mask”, describing the invention as a “chemical barrier” on top of a physical one.
The corona virus resistance of this mask lies in the invisible coating over the mask. The tests on the viability of this invisible coating were carried at IMM. “In a simplified way, these tests consist of analyzing the tissue after contact with a solution that contains a certain amount of virus, whose viability is measured over time,” said Simas.
The masks, being produced in Portugal, will be sold for 10 euros (11.6 U.S. dollars) in the country and throughout the European Union.
While it was IMM, who unveiled the technology behind the MOxAD masks, no representatives from the collaborators Adalberto and MO were available during the demonstration. However, they made their statements to the press, later.
Francisco Pimentel, MO manager; stressed: “This project is an excellent example of cooperation between Portuguese institutions with the aim of creating an innovative product and make it available to families within a short time span. The tests carried out by the IMM have validated our confidence that the MOxAdTech is the best social protection mask, reinforcing all the certifications already obtained.
Susana Serrano, CEO of Adalberto, said: “The MOxAd-Tech mask is innovative worldwide as it features different protection layers and a water-repellent treatment that neutralises any bacteria and viruses that come in contact with the mask. This was possible thanks to the cooperation between several different organizations that placed their knowledge and skills to the service of the community to help protect families.”
Re-usability of this mask is another advantage. The MOxAd-Tech masks also feature antimicrobial characteristics with proven effectiveness against viruses and bacteria, with accredited technology at international level.
This product is also OEKO-Tex certified, confirming that no harmful chemical products have been using during the production process, which means it is harmless to the environment.