a glowing face mask to help fight the covid-19 spread
researchers in japan have developed a new mask that glows in the dark when exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. using antibodies extracted from ostrich eggs and fluorescent dye, the face shield’s innovative detection system gives wearers a quick and easy way to see if they have contracted the virus. led by yasuhiro tsukamoto, the scientist team at kyoto prefectural university hopes to gain government approval to sell the masks possibly in 2022.
all images courtesy of kyoto prefectural university
using ostrich eggs to detect coronavirus
the secret to the mask’s coronavirus detection is ostrich eggs, as ostriches are capable of producing several different kinds of antibody, or proteins that neutralize foreign entities in the body. with that in mind, the team then developed a special filter that is placed inside the face mask and can be taken out and sprayed with a fluorescent dye containing the coronavirus antibodies from the ostrich eggs. if it comes into contact with the virus, the mask will glow brightly under a UV light.
the idea is that anyone wearing the face shield will realize they may be infected with the novel coronavirus when the mask glows and consequently seek an early diagnosis for COVID-19, thus lowering the risk of spreading it to others. while the mask is still pending government approval, yasuhiro tsukamoto is already thinking about the possibilities of the innovative detection system. ‘we can mass-produce antibodies from ostriches at a low cost,’ yasuhiro tsukamoto mentions. ‘in the future, I want to make this into an easy testing kit that anyone can use.’
myrto katsikopoulou I designboom
dec 09, 2021