Team devising a DIY approach to coating masksMarie Donlon | October 14, 2021
Researchers from the University of Minnesota are attempting to develop a do-it-yourself coating for reinforcing masks against COVID-19.
Using extracts from the Moringa oleifera, a tropical tree that contains seeds with antimicrobial proteins, the researchers are attempting to develop an at-home technique for both creating and applying the coating to standard masks worn to prevent transmissions of the COVID-19 virus.
According to the research team, the Moringa seeds can be ground up using a standard coffee grinder, mixed with water and then the seeds filtered out using standard filters. Once the seeds are filtered out of the solution, the masks can be immersed in the liquid byproduct for roughly five to 10 minutes, rinsed and then dried.
The researchers suggest that the coating can be rinsed with salt water after each use and the coating reapplied ahead of each subsequent use.
Still to be determined before the do-it-yourself technique is ready for at-home use are details such as assessing how effectively the protein binds to the virus, estimating the ideal ratio of water to seed for making the coating effective, determining how long the coating lasts before washing and reapplying, and ascertaining whether the virus remains deactivated once it is removed by the coating.