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The University of Southampton

Scientists produce flavoured solutions for vital facemask testing during COVID-19 pandemic

Published: 7 April 2020
Solutions for vital facemasks

Chemistry and Medicine researchers from the University of Southampton have joined forces to help validate safe-fitting facemasks during unprecedented demand in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MisSO team has transformed University teaching and research facilities into a full-scale production, testing and distribution facility for facemask solutions.

Adjustable FFP3 facemasks are tested by spraying a flavoured solution around it. If the wearer can taste the flavour whilst performing exercises such as talking or bending, then the mask is not fitted correctly as droplets must have penetrated the seal.

Researchers generated the first batches of bitter and sweet tasting solutions in just over a week and are reviewing options to scale-up production and consider distribution logistics.

Several companies have provided materials free of charge for the project, while also sharing essential technical support and helping dramatically shorten delivery times.

The MisSO project has also produced standard operating procedures for the production and testing of both solutions, so these can be made accessible open-source in the near future.

Read the full story on the main news page.

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