A group of researchers from the University of Cambridge (UK) created electronic fibers through 3D printing that can control leakage from masks.
The researchers prepared electronic fibers that can be used as invisible sensors to monitor health, or their Internet of Things devices and biosensor applications.
This group used a 3D printing technique that uses silver and semiconductor polymers to produce the core of the conductive fiber, which is wrapped in a thin polymer sheath.
As explained in an article published on the website of the University of Cambridge, each of these fibers are one hundred times thinner than a human hair.
Cambridge Engineering Department PhD student Andy Wang used the sensor to detect signs of rapid breathing, shortness of breath and simulated cough, as well as to track mask leaks.
The sensor was applied to both cloth and surgical masks and they found that the leaks come mainly from the front, especially during coughing. As for the N95 masks, the researchers note that the leaks come from the sides.