Researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are designing a face mask that could detect if the person wearing it has coronavirus.
The people researching are adjusting the sensors they started developing in 2014 to detect Ebola to address the current Corona pandemic, MIT researcher Jim Collins told Business Insider.
The researchers working on the masks published their research after they custom tailored the breakthrough technology to address the Zika virus in 2016.
The mask they’re working on developing will produce a fluorescent signal when a person that is infected breaths, coughs or sneezes.
The project is in early stages right now, but the results have been very promising according to the spokesperson for the research. Researchers hope to be able to demonstrate a working concept or prototype within the next few weeks.
“Once we’re in that stage, then it would be a matter [of] setting up trials with individuals expected to be infected to see if it would work in a real-world setting.”
The researchers are testing the sensor’s ability to detect the Corona virus with just a small saliva sample being passed onto it. They’re also experimenting on placing other sensors inside the mask, as well as developing a module that can be attached to over the counter masks.
The technology that identifies a person’s infection has proven to work on other viruses, including SARS, measles, influenza, hepatitis C and West Nile, according to Business Insider.
The sensors consist of a genetic material that can bind to a virus. Though, for the sensors to be activated they need moisture. They also need to be able to detect a virus’s genetic sequence.