How Japan mask glows with coronavirus contact

A new mask that glows when exposed to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has emerged.

Tsukamoto is the headmaster of Kyoto Prefectural University, a veterinarian and famous for his research on ‘ostriches’. Using protein (antibodies) derived from ostriches, he created a mask that glows when the novel coronavirus is present.

Image of an ostrich

Ostriches are known for their ability to produce antibodies. President Tsukamoto has long been researching ways to create large quantities of that particular antibody.
He focused on masks as a contact point of viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to him developing a special filter containing ostrich-derived antibodies and a spray agent that reacts to certain light sources, such as UV light or smartphone light.

This means that if the mask wearer’s saliva is exposed to the novel coronavirus, the ostrich-derived antibodies in the filter will detect it. When the filter is sprayed with a specially developed fluorescent spray and then shined with light, the virus appears in fluorescent colour.

The president himself was infected with the delta variant of Covid-19. When he used this mask at that time, he found it glowing. On the other hand, when 8 healthy people free from the novel coronavirus tested the face mask, it did not glow up.

The masks are currently undergoing a formal approval process for use in medical applications.
Expectations are high that this will give people a simple way to visualise if an infection is there or not.

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