Cost-Effective Face Mask Filter Based on Hybrid Composite Nanofibrous Layers with High Filtration Efficiency
Energy Materials Laboratory
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Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids
One of the main protective measures against COVID-19's spread is the use of face masks. It is therefore of the utmost importance for face masks to be high functioning in terms of their filtration ability and comfort. Notwithstanding the prevalence of the commercial polypropylene face masks, its effectiveness is under contention, leaving vast room for improvement. During the pandemic, the use of at least one mask per day for each individual results in a massive number of masks that need to be safely disposed of. Fabricating biodegradable filters of high efficiency not only can protect individuals and save the environment but also can be sewed on reusable/washable cloth masks to reduce expenses. Wearing surgical masks for long periods of time, especially in hot regions, causes discomfort by irritating sensitive facial skin and warmed inhaled air. Herein, we demonstrate the fabrication of novel electrospun composites layers as face mask filters for protection against pathogens and tiny particulates. The combinatorial filter layers are made by integrating TiO nanotubes as fillers into chitosan/poly(vinyl alcohol) polymeric electrospun nanofibers as the outer layer. The other two filler-free layers, chitosan/poly(vinyl alcohol) and silk/poly(vinyl alcohol) as the middle and inner composite layers, respectively, were used for controlled protection, contamination prevention, and comfort for prolonged usage. The ASTM standards evaluation tests were adopted to evaluate the efficacy of the assembled filter, revealing high filtration efficiency compared to that of commercial surgical masks. The TiO/Cs/PVA outer layer significantly reduced bacteria by 44.8% compared to the control, revealing the dual effect of TiO and chitosan toward the infectious bacterial colonies. Additionally, molecular dynamics calculations were used to assess the mechanical properties of the filter layers.
Allam, N. K.
Abbas, W. A.
Shaheen, B. S.
Ghanem, L. G.
(2021). Cost-Effective Face Mask Filter Based on Hybrid Composite Nanofibrous Layers with High Filtration Efficiency. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids, 37(24), 7492–7502.
Allam, Nageh, et al.
"Cost-Effective Face Mask Filter Based on Hybrid Composite Nanofibrous Layers with High Filtration Efficiency." Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids, vol. 37,no. 24, 2021, pp. 7492–7502.