It could be useful resting on the surfaces to combat the spread of the virus in the surrounding environment through aerosols. The filter, based on a nickel sponge heated at high temperatures, managed to block and kill 99.8% of an air sample containing Sars-Cov-2
Against the new coronavirus innovation and inventiveness are not lacking for researchers all over the world. Today, for example, a group of researchers, including the University of Houston team, has created a new filter, consisting of one nickel foam (a very thin and porous material) which thanks to specific physical characteristics is able to trap and kill the Sars-Cov-2 virus in the form of aerosol, suspended in the air. The results are published on Materials Today Physics.
The study, a porous fabric
Scientists created the new filter using nickel commercial heated to 200 ° C which forms a kind of fabric spongy and perforated: the nickel foam is porous, flexible and electrically conductive and, thanks to these and other properties, it is able to block the new coronavirus. Researchers tested it at the Galveston National Laboratory, a University of Texas laboratory that studies and diagnoses tropical diseases. To do this, they used a sample of Sars-Cov-2 in the form of concentrated aerosol, placed in contact with the filter.
Investigations revealed that the material managed to annihilate 99.8% of the virus. Equally successful is the outcome using a spore sample of antrace – the bacterium Bacillus antracisfortunately very rare and highly fatal infection: in this case 99.9% of the spores have been eliminated from the filter.
Stop contagion via aerosol
The new technology provides a shield, the authors explain, a first-line defense against the new coronavirus, but also against future health threats, such as other pathogens, compared to the spread airborne, that is, through aerosol containing very small fragments of saliva, less than 5 micrometers (thousandths of a millimeter) – it being understood that masks and other measures are and will always be essential. WHO reiterates that contagion occurs mainly through droplets and that by aerosol it may not be among the main transmission routes, however many scientists disagree and believe that the airborne spread is not to be underestimated.
“This filter”, has explained Zhifeng Ren, “It could be useful at airports and on board planes, in the offices, in the schools and on cruises to stop the spread of Covid-19 infection “. The intention is to propose a model to be placed on surfaces (on the desk, for example) capable of purify the surrounding environment. The idea is to start disseminating the filter in successive steps, first in environments with high attendance and therefore at a high risk of contagion, such as schools, hospitals and health care facilities such as nursing homes and RSAs as well public transport e planes, where spacing is difficult – although there are and there will be other precautionary measures (including air exchange every few minutes and Hepa filters).
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