New Face Mask Uses Sensors to Detect COVID-19

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New Face Mask Uses Sensors to Detect COVID-19 COVID-19 has been a tragic and devastating pandemic, completely changing the world and the way we go about our lives. In some countries, vaccination has slowed the spread of the pandemic, while in others, the threat of new mutations and increased risk looms. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have developed wearable sensor-equipped masks that can detect COVID-19 in the wearer. The study was published in the Nature Biotechnology journal. Titled "Wearable materials with embedded synthetic biology sensors for biomolecule detection", involved using wearable biosensors installed on KN95 masks to detect whether to virus was present in the wearer's breath. Within 90 minutes and with the accuracy of a standard PCR COVID test, they were able to test for COVID-19 using the masks. Peter Nguyen, a scientist who co-authored the study, says the sensor has the high accuracy of PCR tests with the speed and low cost of antigen tests. He also said these sensors could be worn on clothing and used to detect "dangerous substances, including viruses, bacteria, toxins, and chemical agents." According to researchers, the team is now looking for manufacturing partners to make these masks available in large numbers during the pandemic.

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