Mahesh Bandi, a physicist in Okinawa, Japan, has created a way to produce N-95-type respirator filters that are less expensive and quicker to make than with conventional approaches. Bandi’s technique involved heating ordinary plastics such as bottles or shopping bags and then putting them into an ordinary cotton candy machine. The machine spins the plastic into a material that is similar to cotton candy (a mesh), which is electro-charged by the spinning. He placed his filters inside surgical masks and found the filters highly effective, but the masks weren’t a viable option. He then designed his own mask to allow for easy insertion and removal of the filters and produced it with a 3-D printer. Rigorous testing showed Bandi’s filters to be as effective at preventing inhalation of SARS-CoV-2 viruses as the standard N-95 masks.

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