The masks was first proposed by engineering professor Dibakara Bhattacharyya, and has now obtained funding to make it a actuality.
The masks might be produced from flat sheet supplies with a spongy construction that may embody enzymes that seize and deactivate SARS-CoV-2.
Professor Bhattacharyya defined: “Now we have the potential to create a membrane that may not solely successfully filter out the novel coronavirus just like the N95 masks does, however deactivate the virus utterly.
“This innovation would additional sluggish and even forestall the virus from spreading. It will even have future functions to guard towards quite a few human pathogenic viruses.”
The coronavirus is roofed in club-shaped spikes known as S-proteins that enable the virus to enter host cells as soon as within the physique.
Nevertheless, the brand new masks will comprise proteolytic enzymes that may connect to the protein spikes and separate them, killing the virus, based on the researchers.
Professor Bhattacharyya predicts that the masks will take round six months to be completed and examined.
He added: “On the College of Kentucky, we now have nice sources at our fingertips and plenty of alternatives to interact in cutting-edge analysis throughout disciplines.
“Our researchers work collectively and lend their experience to unravel challenges for the better good of humanity, not solely at a time like this, however every single day.”
The information comes shortly after the UK authorities up to date its steerage round carrying face masks.
It defined: “If you happen to can, put on a face masking in an enclosed house the place social distancing isn’t attainable and the place you’ll come into contact with individuals you don’t usually meet.
“That is most related for brief durations indoors in crowded areas, for instance, on public transport or in some retailers.”