Institute of Crystallography - CNR

Personalized Reusable Face Masks with Smart Nano-Assisted Destruction of Pathogens for COVID-19: A Visionary Road

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency has demonstrated that the utilization of face masks plays a critical role in limiting the outbreak. Healthcare professionals utilize masks all day long without replacing them very frequently, thus representing a source of cross-infection for patients and themselves. Nanotechnology is a powerful tool with the capability to produce nanomaterials with unique physicochemical and antipathogen properties. Here, how to realize non-disposable and highly comfortable respirators with light-triggered self-disinfection ability by bridging bioactive nanofiber properties and stimuli-responsive nanomaterials is outlined. The visionary road highlighted in this Concept is based on the possibility of developing a new generation of masks based on multifunctional membranes where the presence of nanoclusters and plasmonic nanoparticles arranged in a hierarchical structure enables the realization of a chemically driven and on-demand antipathogen activities. Multilayer electrospun membranes have the ability to dissipate humidity present within the mask, enhancing the wearability and usability. The photothermal disinfected membrane is the core of these 3D printed and reusable masks with moisture pump capability. Personalized face masks with smart nano-assisted destruction of pathogens will bring enormous advantages to the entire global community, especially for front-line personnel, and will open up great opportunities for innovative medical applications.

Chemistry (Weinh., Print)
Impact factor
De Sio, Luciano; Ding, Bin; Focsan, Monica; Kogermann, Karin; Pascoal-Faria, Paula; Petronela, Francesca; Mitchell, Geoffrey; Zussman, Eyal; Pierini, Filippo
Authors IC CNR