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Seattle startup creates spray to help cloth masks block COVID-19 particles

A Seattle company is working on a coating spray for cloth masks that act as an extra layer of protection against coronavirus.

Mimicking the science behind an N95 mask, chemical engineers in Seattle are developing a special spray to capture coronavirus particles. 

Greg Newbloom, founder of Seattle startup Membrion, said molecular coating can add an extra layer of protection to cloth masks. The company is developing the spray thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

"This is kind of taking it a step further. We all should be wearing masks to help protect our communities, and occasionally we encounter people in our community that aren't taking that as seriously. And so this, this actually enables you to protect yourself,” said Newbloom.

He said viruses like COVID-19 carry a surface charge. Membrion's molecular coating creates a countercharge that attracts the virus.

"It's going to capture any of the virus particles that are in the air near you. So, instead of going into your your lungs, they stick to the surface of the mask instead,” said Newbloom. 

He said the coating is made up of environmentally-friendly food safe material combined with ethanol. 

Newbloom said the spray doesn’t need regulatory approval, but he still plans to have a third party test it, anticipating massive interest as masks become the norm.  

Pricing has not been finalized, but Membrion expects it to cost approximately $1 per dose. A dose can last up to 24 hours.

Membrion plans to roll out the mask spray before Christmas.  

Coronavirus coverage on KING 5