Face masks made from a variety of fabric materials filter nano-sized aerosols
But live bacteria and viruses on the surface of the maskcan still be contagious. The scientists wanted to develop a new cotton fabric that would release reactive oxygen species (ROS) when exposed to daylight. In this way, it could kill microbes adhering to the surface of the tissue. It was important for the scientists that the masks were washable, reusable and safe for the wearer.
As a result, the scientists managed to realize their plans.
They created antimicrobial tissue by attachingthe positively charged chains of 2-diethylaminoethyl chloride to regular cotton. The researchers then dyed the modified cotton in a negatively charged photosensitizer solution. It is this compound that allows ROS to be released upon exposure to light.
Scientists conducted an experiment and found that theirthe fabric killed 99.9999% of the bacteria added to the fabric. It took 60 minutes of exposure to daylight. Further tests showed that the material can be washed by hand at least 10 times and continuously exposed to daylight for at least 7 days without losing the antimicrobial properties of the fabric.
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