A team of scientists and engineers in Israel have developed a carbon-based filter that can capture and destroy a strain of animal coronavirus, the Cambridge Independent news site reported.
The filter is designed to protect against a close relative of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, the report said. The engineers believe it can be useful as an extra protection tool in confined spaces such as hospitals, automotives, and waiting rooms.
Called TorStran, the thin carbon nanotube mat has the properties of filtration and air permeability that allow it to capture molecules in airborne droplets. The fact that it can filter and disrupt the virus at the same time can potentially make it an effective tool to reduce the risk of infection by removing contamination from the air.
The company, Maalot Tarshiha-based Tortech Nano Fibers, said it plans to rapidly prototype and test the product to help with shortages of protective equipment due to the coronavirus pandemic, the report said.
Tortech was founded in 2010 as a joint venture with a team from Cambridge University. The company has a process to manufacture ultra-long carbon nanotubes for commercial applications, based on a patent that was developed at Cambridge University.