DIY origami face masks for COVID-19

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to develop, the CDC now recommends that anyone traveling outside their home should wear a cloth face covering to cut down on the spread of the virus, leaving professional-grade face masks for healthcare workers. Many people are now turning to DIY tutorials to learn how to make their own masks, but confusion remains on the best designs and materials.

With this conundrum in mind, Shu Yang, professor of materials science and engineering and chemical and biomolecular engineering, has a leading role in an effort to design an effective face mask that can be made at home

Given Yang’s expertise in how two-dimensional sheets can be assembled into three-dimensional structures, origami was a natural approach to this problem. Yang says that the issue with many DIY face mask designs is that they do not properly conform to the face. Without a strong seal around the mouth and nose, even the best materials are undermined; the virus can enter or leave through the gaps in the sides, or hitch a ride on fingers as they adjust a loose-fitting mask. 

This story is by Izzy Lopez. Read more at Penn Engineering.