13 Apr 2021
Materials (Basel, Switzerland);
COVID-19, classified as SARS-CoV-2, is causing an ongoing global pandemic. The pandemic has resulted in the loss of lives and has caused economic hardships. Most of the devices used to protect against the transmission of the novel COVID-19 disease are related to textile structures. Hence, the challenge for textile professionals is to design and develop suitable textile structures with multiple functionalities for capturing viruses, passivating them, and, at the same time, having no adverse effects on humans during the complete period of use. In addition to manufacturing efficient, biocompatible, and cost-effective protective face masks, it is also necessary to inform the public about the benefits and risks of protective face mask materials. The purpose of this article is to address the concerns of efficiency and efficacy of face masks by primarily reviewing the literature of research conducted at the Technical University of Liberec. The main focus is on the presentation of problems related to the specification of aims of face mask applications, mechanisms of capture, durability, and modes of sterilization. The recommendations, instead of conclusions, are addressed to the whole textile society because they should be leading players in the design, creation, and proper treatment of face masks due to their familiarity with the complex behavior of textile structures and targeted changes of structural hierarchy starting from polymeric chains (nano-level) and ending in planar textile structures (millimeter level) due to action by mechanical, physical and chemical fields. This becomes extremely critical to saving hundreds of thousands of lives from COVID-19.