Istituto di Cristallografia - CNR

Nanotechnology Transition Roadmap toward Multifunctional Stimuli-Responsive Face Masks

In recent times, the use of personal protective equipment, such as face masks or respirators, is becoming more and more critically important because of common pollution; furthermore, face masks have become a necessary element in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, the main mission of scientists has become the development of face masks with exceptional properties that will enhance their performance. The versatility of electrospun polymer nanofibers has determined their suitability as a material for constructing “smart” filter media. This paper provides an overview of the research carried out on nanofibrous filters obtained by electrospinning. The progressive development of the next generation of face masks whose unique properties can be activated in response to a specific external stimulus is highlighted. Thanks to additional components incorporated into the fiber structure, filters can, for example, acquire antibacterial or antiviral properties, self-sterilize the structure, and store the energy generated by users. Despite the discovery of several fascinating possibilities, some of them remain unexplored. Stimuli-responsive filters have the potential to become products of large-scale availability and great importance to society as a whole.

ACS applied materials & interfaces (Print)
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Anna Zakrzewska, Mohammad Ali Haghighat Bayan, Pawe? Nakielski, Francesca Petronella, Luciano De Sio, and Filippo Pierini
Autori IC CNR