A new microbe killing mask previously available only to medical professionals is now being released over the counter in Hong Kong. The mask, BioMask™, is part of a series of products by Filligent Inc. called BioFriend, that use a material shown to kill H1N1, MRSA, SARS, and Bird Flu, among other pathogens, on the spot. The BioFriend™ technology, a coating that can be applied to various substrates, works by mimicking oligosaccharide sites on human cells through which viruses and bacteria might normally attach. More specifically, the device mimes the terminal sialic acid residue on the surface oligosaccharide of a cell membrane. Once bound, the pathogen is then destroyed by embedded copper and zinc ions which impair their cell walls and disturb their normal metabolism. The benefit to this approach is that since the microbes are being killed rather than simply filtered, a perfectly airtight seal is not as necessary as with current masks such as the N95, and there is little risk of mask to hand to body transmission, thus making the mask a good candidate for unsupervised public use. The mask stays effective for 8 hours of active wear.
From the press release:
The revolutionary mask, which traps and kills germs like H1N1 upon contact, was launched at Asia’s leading drugstore chain, Watsons, today. In addition, Hong Kong’s biggest travel agency, Hong Thai, will be providing the BioMask(TM), on a complimentary basis, to all air travelers through the end of August…The launch and availability of the BioMask(TM) in consumer retailers and service providers is significant because, as CEO Melissa Mowbray-d’Arbela says, "The BioMask(TM) is the first ‘intelligent’ face mask. You don’t have to be a health care worker or medical professional to use it correctly. Instead, the mask is very easy to put on, wear and dispose of properly. Thus, it’s one of the best forms of protection for ordinary people and their children during this year’s swine flu crisis."
Whereas ordinary surgical masks fit poorly with lots of leakage from the sides and become easily contaminated with live germs, the BioMask(TM) is easy to put on, fits securely and kills germs continuously. Unlike an ordinary mask, it is not covered with live germs when you take it off.
The BioMask(TM) is the first product in Filligent’s revolutionary anti- microbial BioFriend(TM) personal care range to be launched at Watsons. Other BioFriend(TM) products, including a dry-sanitizing handkerchief (QuickCloth), adhesive dry-sanitizing stickers (QuickPatch), odour-control insole (BioSole), cosmetic puffs (BioPuff) and self-sanitizing cosmetic sponge (BioSponge), will be launched later this year. The innovative personal care line will also soon be available at Park ‘n’ Shops throughout Hong Kong.
Press release: High-Tech ‘Smart’ Face Mask Helps Hong Kong Families Combat Swine Flu…
Product page: Filligent BioMask…