The “Maya label”, a self-adhesive developed in Israel, contains fibers with the ability to capture and neutralize the coronavirus. Professor Eyal Zoosman, 59, who is responsible for development, is a researcher in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Technion Institute of Technology. His daughter Maya, who came up with the initial idea, gave the brand new invention its name. The adhesive that improves antiviral protection capacity has already received approval from the Israeli Ministry of Health.
“The first wave of infections was accompanied by a boom in the manufacture and marketing of masks,” said Professor Zoosman. “Over time, simple surgical masks turned out to be the most convenient, as the N95s had their complexities. However, the simple mask is not effective enough and was not designed to filter 0.1 micron viruses, “he explained.
“We then identified the need to enhance these masks and increase their level of protection for health personnel,” said the scientist in charge of the project. “So we started working and partnering for clinical trials with the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya. We develop fibers with the ability to capture and neutralize the virus. The fiber is 0.1 microns thick and the fabric consists of hundreds of layers. We can control the spacing between the fibers and thus obtain a very high filtering capacity ”, explained the researcher.
According to Zoosman, the rationale behind the development was to find at any cost a way for the virus to fail to get through protective gear, even if saliva particles from a coronavirus patient hit the mask. “Without the adhesive, the saliva particles can stick to the outer layer and then penetrate. The decal adheres to any mask or fabric face mask and the drop is absorbed by the adhesive and remains trapped there ”, he explained.
The “Maya” label enhances the filtering of simple masks.
Zoosman also said that “the label is coated in a biocidal material that, in fact, kills the virus. The tests we carry out show that the filtering efficiency of a mask increases 100 percent with the sticker. “
The Dikam paper mill at Kibbutz Ein Harod Meuhad began working around the clock to meet the demand for the label. It is a 30-year-old factory that produces, among other things, train and plane tickets and movie theater tickets. “With the decrease in demand during the coronavirus crisis, we had to suspend many workers,” said Arik Avraham, general manager of the factory, “but from the self-adhesive label project, we put everyone to work,” he added .
At this time the factory produces 5,000 labels per day. His plan is to increase production to one million stickers a month. “We have already received orders from Canada, Japan, Italy and Spain. In Israel we started marketing the labels to dentists. It is a profitable product and the market is inexhaustible. Each decal retails for one dollar and is good for one day of use. It is not yet available for retail sale, but the goal is to get there as well, ”Avraham concluded.