Ilaria Rubino

Pathogen-Inactivating Facemasks Using a Salt Functionalization System
with Dr. Ilaria Rubino
Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, 10:30 am - 11:00 am MST

This presentation was not recorded at the request of the presenter.

Masks are essential components of the infection prevention and control strategy, as exemplified by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. However, following filtration, pathogens can maintain infectivity on the mask surface, so masks are recommended for a single use and pose a risk of contamination. We developed a salt-based coating that applied on the mask filters quickly inactivates viruses and bacteria through the salt recrystallization process. Additionally, the salt coatings applied to large-pore membranes increased their filtration efficiency without affecting breathability, yielding high-performing filters. Therefore, our salt functionalization system can lead to the development of reusable and pathogen-inactivating masks for infection control during outbreaks.
Photo of Ilaria Rubino

Dr. Ilaria Rubino received her BSc in Biomedical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy and her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta (2020). Dr. Rubino worked on the development of salt-functionalized filters for pathogen-inactivating facemasks during her PhD in Dr. Hyo-Jick Choi's lab in the Dept. of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta. Dr. Rubino is a recent recipient of the innovation award from Mitacs, a Canadian non-profit which receives funding from the federal government and most provinces to support researchers from academic institutions. Her areas of interest include pathogen inactivation, infection control and antimicrobial materials.