Italy has just announced to purchase 650 million masks that could last for 2 months. It seems that the shortage of masks in the world will continue under this condition and Italian scientific research and Italian startups, are testing a solution to this problem.
A group of Roman researchers from the INNOVA Group has just developed and filed a patent for a self-sterilizing and durable mask. “We have identified a new material for the masks’ filters – said Andrea Ugodini, CEO of an innovative start-up ISPHEREA – and recently, we are working on the prototype and validation process. The new filter, which is applied to both surgical masks and the FFP2 and FFP3 masks, will guarantee both the safety for use and the daily sterilization in the same mask”
The product is called Evermask and is an innovative respiratory protection device for personal use, based on a photo catalytically regenerative filtering technology. This means that inside the filter mesh, there is a material that can produce a sterilizing effect when it’s exposed to the ultraviolet rays.
“In a few minutes, the filter eliminates the bacteria, virus and the fungus – said Alfredo Picano from Innova – and with the prolonged exposure, it can also eliminate a particular filtered part. The filter can be sterilized both during use through a simple electronic inside the filter itself or at the end of the day through a portable irradiation device that will sterilize the filter in a few minutes.”
In fact, we can always utilize the same mask, sterilize it every day and reuse it in the next day, and even enhance the sterilization capacity when it’s worn out. But what is the reason for this effect? “The invention is based on the chemical resistance composed in the filtering net which allows the filter to maintain its’ filtering properties even after many sterilization cycles – Andrea Ugolini concluded – and this is what we are working on”.
The laboratory is fully active in these difficult days, and some Italian and foreign industries have come forward. “we are rushing to start the industrialization phase in 4 to 6 weeks. Italian industries are following the developments; when the material will pass the biological and filtering testing validation phase, we wish Italy to be the first country to utilize this new technology”.
The new masks will be proposed with the autonomous cartridge P3 filter, be mounted on tight face masks, or as a fabric that fit the shape of the face, with the sterilization conducted by an irradiation portable device in which to store the mask. A protection kit for all Italians to deal with the Covid-19 better.