Israeli-developed sticker that enhances mask protection is mass produced

Israeli-developed sticker that enhances mask protection is mass produced
The 'Maya' sticker can easily be applied to a protective mask.

Comprised of a nanofiber sheet, the ‘Maya’ sticker can be stuck on a protective mask, significantly improving its effectiveness against the coronavirus.

Published by the Jerusalem Post
on August 14, 2020
Author: TOBIAS SIEGAL

A special sticker that enhances surgical masks’ ability to protect the wearer from coronavirus has gone into mass production at the Dykam printing plant in Kibbutz Ein Harod. The sticker, called “Maya,” was developed by Technion researchers mainly for preventing medical teams from contracting the virus.

Comprised of a nanofiber sheet, the “Maya” sticker can be attached to a protective mask, significantly improving its effectiveness against the coronavirus, while requiring minimal effort and time to use. The sticker’s most notable advantage is its nanoscale pores that prevent the virus from penetrating any mask it’s attached to. The coronavirus itself is 130 nanometers big, which makes it small enough to penetrate standard masks. “Maya” prevents that from happening.

Technion researchers also incorporated substances that neutralize trapped viruses within a few seconds into the sticker’s fiber sheet.

The sticker was developed under the leadership of Prof. Eyal Zussman of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Technion, under the clinical guidance of Professor Samer Srouji, the director of the Maxillofacial Surgery Department, at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya. Zussman is an expert in the development of nanometer fibers. After the coronavirus pandemic broke out, he used his knowledge to find a way to enhance protection against the virus.

The “Maya” sticker was developed and announced in late March, but it was not until recently that Technion was able to sign an agreement that will make mass production of the sticker possible. The deal was signed with Kibuutz Ein Harod in northern Israel, which manages the Dykam printing plant. Dykam was established in 1982 and produces various paper products.

The agreement will not only accelerate the availability of the “Maya” sticker to hospitals and the public, but may provide Dykam with significant business momentum, which would come at a good time, considering the severe financial damage that the factory suffered  due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Maya” is expected to be approved by the authorities in the US and Europe soon, with exclusive agreements being made to export the “Maya” to countries such as Canada, Japan and Spain.