Hub researchers testing the new face masks

Hub partners, HeiQ and Xefco, have launched ground-breaking anti-viral face masks which can inactivate Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic, in as little as five minutes.

In a major research milestone for Xefco, HeiQ and our Research Hub, the masks will incorporate new patent-pending technology, called MetalliX™, invented by Xefco and further tested and refined with help from Hub researchers. The technology applies a world’s first thin-film antiviral copper treatment for textiles

Hub Chief Investigator A/Prof Alessandra Sutti explains: “The team provided scientific input and analysis of materials necessary for the scale-up from initial pilot trials to bulk production. We assisted in the characterisation of treated materials by co-designing, conducting and facilitating critical testing required for regulatory approval and to validate the safety of the materials.”

This outcome was a result of the industry partners and research team quickly pivoting their research focus as the pandemic hit in 2020. The team navigated a year of disrupted access to laboratories, lock-downs and travel restrictions to focus on bringing this new technology to the market rapidly. 

To read more Deakin’s media release can be found here, HeiQ’s here, and Xefco’s here.

Research team with industry partner Dr Murray Height from HeiQ (3rd from left), all wearing the new face masks.