PiezoACT membranes: Piezo-Active Nanofibrous Self-decontaminating Facemasks/Filters using Solution Blow Spinning in Egypt
  Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, facemasks have been in short supply in particular for health care workers who should be fully safeguarded to protect health system from being overwhelmed. The world remains on high alert because of rising concerns on the availability and efficiency of available facemasks, especially with the expected second and possibly third pandemic waves. Therefore, individuals will need efficient and affordable facemasks for protection against respirable viruses. Several methods for disinfecting masks were investigated including heating, UV exposure, hydrogen peroxide exposure, and alcohols aiming to improve their performance and reusability. Typically, masks lose filtration and protection efficiency after a few cycles of sterilization due to the dissipation of electrostatic charge on the active layer in surgical masks which reduces the capability to capture smaller particles. Therefore, our ambitious and collaborative project between Northumbria University (NU) and Alexandria University (AU) aims to develop ultra-high elastic piezoelectric nanofibrous membrane able to efficiently catch respirable viruses and bacteria as well as recover its static charges after numerous sterilization cycles through the application of mechanical forces (e.g. stretching mask edges repeatedly). The project also aims to maximize the impact of our previously funded Newton Fund project and stimulate new routes to impact by fabricating such flexible membranes and consequently novel masks (will be called PiezoACT Masks). PiezoACT masks are washable and reusable which will greatly support the Egyptian economy as well as benefit low-income families and vulnerable populations who cannot afford to purchase disposable masks regularly due to the high accumulated cost. Further impacts of the PiezoACT membrane can be also seen in a wide range of sectors including air-purifying units in public transportation, shopping malls, and the aviation industry.

  • Start Date:

    1 January 2022

  • End Date:

    31 December 2022

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    British Council

  • Value:


Project Team