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Nanomaterials in Industry: Nanofibers

December 2019 in Wuhanm China, a dozen patients are admitted to the hospital with symptoms of high fever and pneumonia. Days later, virus sequencing results come back and the virus is named "SARS-CoV-2". The following year, during January and February, this virus spreads worldwide and by March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declares a pandemic. After more than a year and almost 4 million deaths around the world, it seems that infections and deaths are decreasing. However, this would not have been possible without the joint work of governments, hospitals, civil society, industry and research centers.

As a result of these events, as a preventive measure against contagion, a high percentage of countries established a quarantine and the mandatory use of masks for any activity outside the home. Likewise, highly renowned multinational companies such as 3M announced an increase in their worldwide production of masks up to one billion N95 type masks per year.

On the other hand, small scientific-technological companies around the world such as FNM Co. (Respinano) in Iran and Bionica (Proveil®) in Spain, have succeeded in producing masks made with nanofibers that are capable of retaining up to 99% of coronavirus particles. These nanofibers are quite effective due to mechanical and electrostatic interactions with the virus particles. Recent studies by the University of California at Riverside have shown that, when faced with aerosols that could contain the coronavirus, cotton masks have an efficiency of around 45% to 73%, while surgical masks reach up to 98%. In view of this situation, branches of science such as nanotechnology have become relevant because of the novel solutions to face the appearance of new diseases such as the coronavirus.

In My Nano Academy we want to highlight the importance of the implementation of nanotechnology in current production processes. We are sure that with this technology, we will not only overcome the problems that we face every day; but also, it will allow us to prepare for the future and anticipate new challenges.

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