Japanese researchers have developed a mask filter that will glow in the dark indicating traces of coronavirus on the mask. Led by Yasuhiro Tsukamoto, Kyoto Prefectural University, the researchers turned to the ostrich for a simple detection system.
Knowing that ostriches can produce various antibodies that can neutralize foreign substances in the body, the team developed a mask filter that can be taken out and sprayed with a fluorescent dye containing the coronavirus antibodies from ostrich eggs. If it comes into contact with the virus, the mask glows under a UV light.
The hope is that the mask will encourage people to seek an early diagnosis for COVID-19, thereby reducing the potential risk to others to contract the virus. The scientists are seeking government approval and may be able to offer the masks commercially in 2022.