The rapid spread of COVID-19 has led to nationwide lockdowns in many countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has played serious havoc on economic activities throughout the world. Researchers are immensely curious about how to give the best protection to people before a vaccine becomes available. The coronavirus spreads principally through saliva droplets. Thus, it would be a great opportunity if the virus spread could be controlled at an early stage. The face mask can limit virus spread from both inside and outside the mask. This is the first study that has endeavoured to explore the design and fabrication of an antiviral face mask using licorice root extract, which has antimicrobial properties due to glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) and glycyrrhizin (GL). An electrospinning process was utilized to fabricate nanofibrous membrane and virus deactivation mechanisms discussed. The nanofiber mask material was characterized by SEM and airflow rate testing. SEM results indicated that the nanofibers from electrospinning are about 15-30 μm in diameter with random porosity and orientation which have the potential to capture and kill the virus. Theoretical estimation signifies that an 85 L/min rate of airflow through the face mask is possible which ensures good breathability over an extensive range of pressure drops and pore sizes. Finally, it can be concluded that licorice root membrane may be used to produce a biobased face mask to control COVID-19 spread.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.