Besides the chaos and health risk posed by the spread of the virus itself, the coronavirus pandemic has led to widespread confusion, as health officials at the World Health Organization try to share consistent and accurate advice.
Initially, the WHO discouraged the use of face masks as a preventative measure against contracting the coronavirus. Now, they are widely accepted and in many parts of the world, including here in Israel, are mandatory. Even during Yom Kippur, police enforced the mandatory face mask rules.
To that end, a number of Israeli tech companies have been working hard to quickly develop innovative responses to the pandemic.
In this article, we will take a look at the SonoMask developed by Sonovia Tech, an out-of-the-box response to the spread of coronavirus that uses technology straight out of a Sci Fi film.
Based in Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, the team of researchers and tech experts at Sonovia Tech identified a problem and decided that they had the right tools and technology to find a resourceful solution.
The problem? How to make a mask that not only protects wearers from breathing in dust particles that might be infused with SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, but also eliminates the virus itself.
Using revolutionary sound wave technology, the team put together the SonoMask. Constructed with a reusable fabric that maintains its efficiency after over 50 washes, the SonoMask has been tested and revealed to prevent coronavirus at efficiency levels of up to 98%. The masks are now available for online purchase, so this futuristic-seeming technology is easily accessible to all consumers and healthcare professionals.
Up until now, most healthcare workers have been advised to wear N95 type masks, with advanced respiratory filtration systems. The FDA in the United States has recommended that the public wear cloth or surgical masks, but refrain from using the more advanced N95 mask, saving them instead for healthcare professionals. But the SonoMask could provide an even better solution. Unlike the N95 Masks, which only filter dust particles and do not protect against aerosol droplets, the SonoMask filters particles as small as five microns, thus defending its wearer against miniscule virus microbes. The masks are made with a metal-oxide material that is highly effective.
How Does It Work?
The Sonovia technology uses ultrasonic energy to coat their fabrics with antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-odor, and anti-microbial features. They use this ultrasonic energy to apply a sustainable and safe Zinc-Oxide formula to the textiles that creates a chemical reaction. The result of this chemical reaction changes the very structure of viruses and bacteria, destroying the virus at the chemical level and protecting the mask wearer from absorbing the disease.
The bacteria-busting material provides protection from viruses and bacteria, including SARS-CoV2 and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Because it is reusable, it also provides environmental benefits beyond the health results, preventing the damaging effect to the environment of single-use disposable surgical masks.
This tailored method of sound wave infusion is called cavitation. During the process, technicians generate sound waves of precise frequencies to act upon the target materials. This creates high pressure cavitation bubbles and extreme temperature shifts, which lead to the formation of precisely measured nano-particles.
At a certain point, these bubbles implode, forming powerful jet-streams that push the carefully calibrated nano-particles into the surfaces of the textiles at high speeds and heavy densities, ensuring that the fabrics are deeply infused with the nano-particle formulas.
Where Can You Find One?
Since these masks are manufactured solely by Sonovia, there’s no guarantee that you can just pop down to your local pharmacy anywhere on earth and pick up a few. But as might be expected in this Age of Ecommerce, they are coming online fast. You can go straight to the company site (SonoviaTech.com) or visit mega-retailer Amazon.
Either outlet costs the same – $69. Both, especially Amazon, also follow best retail business practices for return policies, because – face it – that’s a lot of money to pay for a fabric mask. The bottom line is that you can return the purchase and get your money back within a reasonable time period as long as the package is unused/unopened.
What’s Next for the SonoMask?
The SonoMask technology has recently (and rapidly) undergone rigorous testing in labs in China, with promising results. Tests have confirmed that they can prevent the SARS-CoV2 Virus with up to 99% efficacy. Sonovia Tech donated huge quantities of the masks to hospitals in Israel and Germany, as well as nonprofit charity organizations located around the world, in South Africa, Australia, Israel, France, and Germany, before presenting the masks for commercial use, available online.
Now Sonovia is readying to test its nanotechnology-infused fabric for use in vehicles, for both private and public transportation, which could provide a radical aid to one of the most rapid methods of virus spread. They will be conducting these tests at Adler Plastic in Italy, and aim to reveal quick results.
Sonovia’s products have also been tested against the Vaccinia virus, a virus that displays similar attributes to COVID-19. The tests, carried out by Austria’s HygCen medical lab, presented good results, encouraging Sonovia to continue expanding their range of products and explore further possible uses for the Sonovia technology processed fabrics.
The Ultimate Cure
While the SonoMask provides a promising method of preventing the spread of Coronavirus, researchers continue to seek out a vaccine. For while Sonovia’s SonoMasks address the continued expansion of the infected global population, the pandemic can only be fully stopped once a cure has been developed.
In the meantime, the SonoMask presents a truly innovative, tech-forward approach to providing the best possible protection to the greatest number of hospital workers and consumers, in Israel and abroad. Still, even Sonovia advises you to follow basic hygienic procedures, like washing your hands frequently and respecting the social distancing guidelines.