Revolutionary air filter created by Cambridge and Israeli scientists
A team of scientists and engineers from Cambridge, UK, and Ma’alot-Tarshiha, Israel, have developed a revolutionary new carbon-based material that captures and destroys an animal coronavirus, a close relative of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
The Active Virus Filter in the form of a thin carbon nanotube mat (TorStran) has the filtration and air permeability properties that allow it to capture free virus molecules and those contained in airborne aerosolised droplets. Both filtration and virus disruption take place at the same time, allowing the filter to reduce the risk of infection by removing contamination from the air. Research at the University of Cambridge involved the Department of Engineering, the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, and the Department of Pathology.
In the UK, the project team is led by Q-Flo, which is delivering a broad Innovate UK-funded grant. Rapid response from Q-Flo and Innovate UK allowed some funds to be switched to this project and have resulted in proof of principle being achieved within a remarkably short time.