Scientists developed a new face mask that detects Covid-19 by shining under UV light using ostrich antibodies.
It is expected that the breakthrough will allow for low-cost virus testing at home.
The non-woven mask has a filter coated with ostrich antibodies that target Covid, based on the assumption that the birds have excellent disease resistance, according to earlier study.
Antibodies were collected from the eggs of ostriches that had been injected with an inactive, non-threatening type of the coronavirus, because antibodies are passed down through the yolk to the children.
They also form far faster in ostriches, taking only six weeks compared to 12 weeks in chickens, and they are roughly 24 times larger, giving them more room to form.
Participants wore the masks for eight hours before the filters were removed and coated with a chemical that lights under ultraviolet light if Covid is present, according to Yasuhiro Tsukamoto and his team at Kyoto Prefectural University in western Japan.
Researchers discovered that those worn by patients infected with the virus illuminated around the nose and mouth.
They claimed that a smartphone’s LED light could be used to identify the infection, dramatically expanding the number of people who could wear the face mask.
The researchers seek to improve the masks so that they glow without the need for special lighting.
‘It’s a more speedier and direct type of initial testing than getting a PCR test,’ said Tsukamoto, the university’s president and a veterinary professor.
He went on to say that it might be able to detect asymptomatic virus carriers who might not get tested because they feel OK.
Tsukamoto and his colleagues tested 32 Covid-19 patients over the course of ten days.
‘The coronavirus is captured in coughing, sneezing, and water by an ostrich antibody put on the mouth filter of the mask,’ the researchers added.
The virus is then visualized by irradiating it with light after reacting with a fluorescent dye-labeled ostrich antibody.
Using the LED UV black light and the LED light from the smartphone as the light source, we were also able to see the virus antigen on the ostrich antibody-carrying filter.
This makes it simple to apply the mask at home. It is conceivable to visualize the sickness.
The presence of the virus can also be established by using an ostrich antibody-carrying mask worn by a person infected with the novel coronavirus for eight hours,’ the experts noted.
Tsukamoto and his team, on the other hand, have yet to conduct large-scale testing of the mask filters or obtain the necessary regulatory approval for mass manufacture.
They haven’t said how much the masks cost to produce.
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