A French start-up is to launch a new face mask that contains a special outer layer that kills the Covid-19 virus.
Studies found that the Cidaltex mask, developed by medical start-up BioSerenity, gave 99.9% protection against the virus in under five minutes.
Marc Frouin, general director for BioSerenity, told newspaper Le Monde that researchers had created the protective face covering with multiple layers able to “filter and decontaminate”, giving the mask overall “ability to block and kill the virus”.
The layers include a droplet blocker on the outside, followed by a filtering and decontaminating layer, another filter, and a final layer of internal protection.
Mask developed by national research bodies
The technology behind the masks has been developed by researchers from the university of Lille, and national research bodies Inserm and CRNS.
Professor Nicolas Blanchemain of Lille University and Inserm told Le Monde that the masks “would [also] work against Covid variants”.
He said they would also reduce the risk of contamination when discarded, due to their ability to “decontaminate themselves”.
Currently, two models of the masks are being produced – one which has FFP2 certification, and a second surgical version that is expecting its certification on February 22.
The masks, which will be produced in a factory in Troyes, will retail at a cost of €1.49 for the FFP2 version and €0.44 for the surgical version, both of which will be made available to the public after they have first been provided for healthcare professionals.
Studies found the masks can be used for up to four hours by medical staff. People should still follow the usual barrier methods.