The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, cannot be recovered after it has been applied to the TrioMed Active mask from i3 BioMedical Inc, according to researchers at the University of Toronto. The mask’s external surface deactivates more than 99% of the coronavirus suspension within minutes, the researchers added.
“The TrioMed Active Mask is the first and only respiratory protection that is scientifically proven to deactivate the virus causing COVID-19, therefore drastically reducing the risk of contamination for the wearer,” said Pierre Jean Messier, founder and CEO of i3 Biomedical.
“Our company spent years and millions of dollars to develop this interactive antimicrobial technology. The resulting products are used by the medical community around the world and have been tested by independent laboratories to kill numerous microbes such as MRSA, VRE, E coli, Staphylococcus aureus, influenza virus, and now SARS-CoV-2,” Messier said.
The patented antimicrobial technology is at the core of the company’s entire line of medical products, i3 BioMedical said, including wound dressings, medical tapes, gloves, headwear, gowns, and other personal protective equipment. Also, the coating material remains directly coupled to the outside surfaces of masks instead of leaching into the environment or onto the skin.
In addition to deactivating more than 99% of SARS-CoV-2, the masks:
- Deactivate more than 99% of influenza virus H1N1
- Provide greater than 99.9% viral filtration efficiency
- Provide greater than 99.9% bacterial filtration efficiency
- Meet the ASTM F2100 Level 3 standard
- Meet the European Medical Device standard EN 14683 Type IIR
- Provide a five-year shelf life
The masks are especially beneficial for healthcare workers who are at risk of contamination by touching or adjusting their face masks, the researchers said, as the coronavirus can remain present and infectious on the outer layer of masks for up to seven days.
“A big challenge for most people in the population who usually never wear surgical masks is comfort and fit. Because of this, people tend to be constantly adjusting their masks,” said study leader Scott Gray-Owen, PhD, of the university’s Faculty of Medicine Department of Molecular Genetics.
“So they’re either contaminating their hands or, if their hands are contaminated, they’re contaminating a mask that’s close to their face and maybe even depositing the virus there, which they might then inhale,” said Gray-Owen, who also is the director of the faculty’s high-tech containment level three lab, which conducted the study.
The study, “Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in Different Environmental Conditions,” was published by The Lancet Microbe.