On-Mask Chemical Modulation of Respiratory Droplets

Haiyue Huang, Hun Park, Yihan Liu, Jiaxing Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Mask wearing has become a new norm in many parts of the world in the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been much interest in enhanced masks that can better protect the wearers. However, a mask or face covering is much more effective in protecting others because it can block and reroute a large portion of the virus-laden respiratory droplets from symptomatic or asymptomatic infected wearers. Here, we propose an on-mask chemical modulation strategy to enhance this function by making the escaped droplets less infectious. As a proof of concept, antipathogen agents (e.g., mineral acid and copper salt) preloaded on nonwoven fabrics are shown to transfer to and are concentrated in escaped droplets to the level capable of deactivating pathogens. We hope that this approach leads to additional work, which, if eventually adopted, can help to cut down the sources of transmission and strengthen the public health response to control and mitigate the outbreak of infectious respiratory diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1791-1810
Number of pages20
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 4 2020


  • COVID-19
  • MAP4: Demonstrate
  • chemical modulation
  • colorimetric imaging
  • fluorometric imaging
  • infectious diseases
  • mask
  • nonwoven fabrics
  • polyaniline
  • public health
  • respiratory droplets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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