Prototype of the self-disinfecting reusable mask
Prototype of the self-disinfecting reusable mask developed by researchers at The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. (Courtesy of Technion via JTA)

The future is here, and it looks like a self-disinfecting, reusable face mask.

By Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli scientists have developed a self-disinfecting, reusable face mask as the demand for protective masks has risen dramatically since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The mask was developed at the Haifa-based Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering by a team of scientists led by Professor Yair Ein-Eli.

A patent application has been submitted in the United States, the Technion said in a statement. The research team is talking to industrial companies about mass producing the masks, according to the statement. In some countries, demand has far outstripped the supply of face masks amid the pandemic.

Here’s how the mask works: A layer of carbon fibers can be heated using a USB port with a low current source such as a phone charger in a process that destroys viruses that may have accumulated on the mask.

In Israel, wearing a mask in public is mandatory, and those not in compliance can be fined.

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