AI-driven dynamic face mask adapts to exercise, pollution levels – Scientific Inquirer

Through the coronavirus pandemic, many individuals have grown accustomed to carrying face masks to guard themselves and others, however that doesn’t imply the masks are at all times snug — particularly throughout train. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Nano have developed a dynamic respirator that modulates its pore measurement in response to altering situations, resembling train or air air pollution ranges, permitting the wearer to breathe simpler when the best ranges of filtration are usually not required.

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Face masks defend in opposition to the unfold of the virus that causes COVID-19, however they’re additionally worn by individuals with respiratory issues to filter out dangerous pollution. Nonetheless, in some circumstances, excessive ranges of filtration aren’t wanted, resembling when air air pollution ranges are low, or when somebody is exercising outdoor alone — which is mostly thought-about a low-risk exercise for spreading COVID-19. However present masks can’t regulate to altering situations.

With time, the trapped, exhaled breath can create sensations of warmth, humidity, unhealthy breath and discomfort, particularly as extra breath will get exhaled throughout train. Seung Hwan Ko and colleagues needed to make a respirator that might mechanically regulate its filtration traits in response to altering situations.

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The researchers developed a dynamic air filter with micropores that develop when the filter is stretched, permitting extra air to move by way of. A big improve within the breathability of the filter, which was made from electrospun nanofibers, was achieved with solely a couple of 6% loss in filtration effectivity.

The workforce then positioned a stretcher across the filter that was linked to a light-weight, moveable gadget containing a sensor, air pump and microcontroller chip. The gadget communicates wirelessly with an exterior laptop operating synthetic intelligence (AI) software program that reacts to particulate matter within the air, in addition to adjustments within the wearer’s respiratory patterns throughout train. Two of the filters had been positioned on all sides of a face masks and examined on human volunteers. The stretcher accurately generated a smaller improve in pore measurement when a volunteer exercised in a polluted environment than once they exercised in clear air.

Notably, the AI software program permits the respirator to adapt to people’ distinctive respiratory traits, which might be used to develop a personalised face masks, the researchers say. To make the system smaller, lighter and fewer cumbersome, the stretcher may finally be redesigned to have a pump-free mechanism, they add.

IMAGE CREDIT: Tailored from ACS Nano 2021, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.1c06204


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