There is a new 3D printed face mask design that looks like animal noses. The researchers said that with a high level of protection against pathogens in such a mask, it is also easy to breathe.
The new mask matches the performance of clinically approved N95 masks as well as surgical masks. It can capture particles as small as 10 micrometers – this is necessary to prevent the inhalation of viruses that are transmitted by airborne droplets.
It is noted that the general concept of the mask device can be used to improve industrial air filters that are used in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
According to the authors of the work, animals have a strong sense of smell: it is provided by complex air currents that pass through the nasal cavity. The tortuous airflow increases the surface area as well as the distance and time for fragrances and particles to travel. This increases the likelihood that the particles will land on the skin surfaces inside the nose, where they will be sensed by receptors.
This design is a high efficiency filter that traps particles in the air without reducing pressure. The latter can make breathing difficult.
One of the advantages of our filter is that you can easily inhale and exhale air.
Sunhwan Jung, Associate Professor of Biological and Environmental Engineering at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
New masks and air filters have been developed based on the nasal structures of nine animal species. These included mice, which are 50 times more sensitive to smell than humans, dogs, which are 200 times more sensitive, and pigs, which are 700 times more sensitive.