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NEW YORK — Personal protective equipment has played a crucial role in flattening the curve.

In fact, face masks have become a part of our new normal. The required face coverings come in all kinds of fabrics, and are designed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Despite the safety benefits, there is still a risk of infection when it’s removed. However, scientists have developed a new concept to eliminate that risk.

Dr. Chandan Sen is the lead author and director of the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering. He and his team spent five weeks creating the first ever anti-viral mask that they say is capable of killing infections like COVID-19 with electrostatic forces.

Silver and zinc metals are printed on a piece of fabric without any wires or batteries attached. When it comes in contact with ions from virus bearing droplets, the fabric generates electricity and blocks the infection.

The Electrical forces treat the virus by breaking up the infection. Even though it’s the first mask of its kind, the concept has been around for the last six years and has proven to be safe.

Doctors used the technology to treat wound infections. The bio-electrical technology has also been used in pacemakers to treat arrhythmia. Based on past medical successes, Dr. Sen came up with the idea of re-purposing the applied science to prevent the spread of the all kinds of infections, including the coronavirus.

The Doctor says he hopes that this concept will be used in other protective personal equipment like hospital gowns. It’s not available to the public yet. However, the team is set to meet with the FDA to discuss their research and plans for the future.