MSI PIs are involved in the development of a new alternative mask to N95 masks, which are used to protect the wearer against viruses such as the novel coronavirus. The new masks are created out of filtration material typically used in diesel engines. They don’t require sewing, instead being formed by folding and heat-sealing the material. Tests show that they can filter out 95% of air particles, even as small as viruses.
Professor John Bischof (Mechanical Engineering; director, Institute for Engineering in Medicine) facilitated the research team that developed the mask, which included researchers in the Medical School, the College of Design, and the College of Science and Engineering. Regents Professor David Pui (Mechanical Engineering; Center for Filtration Research) and his team evaluated the filter material to see how well it would filter out viruses.
Stories about the mask and how it was developed can be found on the UMN News website: University of Minnesota Twin Cities designs respiratory mask prototypes from filter technology and on the College of Science and Engineering website: U of M researchers design respirator mask prototypes from filter technology.
Professor Bischof’s research at MSI investigates the use of iron oxide and gold nanoparticles to enhance thermal therapies. Regents Professor Pui’s group uses MSI for research performed at the Center for Filtration Research and the Particle Technology Laboratory.