Nara Medical University, Yamato Shinku Co. deliver copper mask to Omicron

Nara Medical University, Yamato Shinku Co. deliver copper mask to Omicron

The conventional standard model, right, of a nonwoven face mask developed by Nara Medical University and Yamato Shinku-Kougyo Co., as well as its smaller version, left, and children's version, which was released in July, is shown in Kashiba, Nara Prefecture. The Makoto Ito Face masks developed by a university and a company in Nara Prefecture that feature copper alloy render the Omicron variant of the novel coronaviruses inactive within a few minutes, its developers said.

The four-layered nonwoven masks were developed by Ryuichi Nakano, associate professor at the Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases of Nara Medical University in Kashihara, and Yamato Shinku-Kougyo Co., a coating processing firm for resin mold goods based in Kashiba.

Nakano, 46, started working to verify the mask's effects on the Omicron variant in late May.

He exposed the strains of the Omicron variant to the copper alloy-coated nonwoven fabric to compare the results with those exposed to ordinary nonwoven cloth. Both strain groups were added to cultured animal-derived cells.

The virus volume dropped to one millionth of the initial level in two minutes, as the strains treated with the copper alloy saw the volume drop to one-millionth of the initial level. In a previous test, a similar outcome emerged using the Delta variant.

The material is likely to be effective for influenza viruses as well as the BA. The subvariant 5 of the Omicron variant Nakano said.

The nonwoven covering with the copper alloy, named Yamato Shinku Mask Premium, is manufactured and sold by Yamato Shinku-Kougyo.

People with metallic allergies should seek advice from their doctors, although the safety of the product has been confirmed, said Kazumi Iwamoto, 43, senior managing director at Yamato Shinku-Kougyo.

The standard model of 95 mm by 175 mm coverings is available in a package of 30 masks for 3,120 yen $22 after tax.

On July 15, a smaller version and a children's edition of the mask were added by Yamato Shinku-Kougyo, which measures 95 millimeters by 145 mm and 85 mm by 125 mm.

The 30 unit sets for the small and child versions have price tags of 2,700 yen and 2,550 yen, respectively.

Samples will be distributed for free to consumers who want to try them. For more information, visit the company's website at https: