Researchers at MIT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed an N95 face mask made from silicone rubber and two small N95 filters. This face mask is reusable and is easily sterilized. In the current COVID-19 pandemic facial masks are in high demand and supplies are low. The researchers hope that this mask could help with the response to the pandemic.
By using a mask body made of silicone rubber, the researchers ensured that they could be sterilized using different techniques (including steam and oven sterilization, and alcohol or bleach soaks). On the durable silicone body one or two areas are present where small N95 filters can be popped in, and then removed before sterilization and replaced with a fresh filter thereafter. “With this design, the filters can be popped in and then thrown away after use, and you’re throwing away a lot less material than an N95 mask,” said Adam Wentworth, another researcher involved in the study.