How bioengineers tackled the leaky mask problem

Researchers from Harvard and MIT have formed a company to mass-produce a more effective three-ply mask for everyday use.

The Ultra Fit mask’s design improvements include extending the nose wire all around the mask and making the ear loops adjustable. [Image courtesy of Katharos Labs]Anyone who wears glasses knows that the ubiquitous blue pleated mask leaks vapor upward, despite the wire designed to conform to the shape of the nose.

Less obvious is the leakage from the mask’s sides and bottom, which a sneeze or cough can increase many times over. While three-ply disposable masks provide some protection for the wearer and those around them, they could be much safer for all.

That’s the conclusion of a team of researchers from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Massachusetts General Hospital. They set out to develop a more practical everyday mask that could be mass-produced and…

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