Smart facemask for wireless CO2 monitoring

Nat Commun. 2022 Jan 10;13(1):72. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-27733-3.


The use of facemasks by the general population is recommended worldwide to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Despite the evidence in favour of facemasks to reduce community transmission, there is also agreement on the potential adverse effects of their prolonged usage, mainly caused by CO2 rebreathing. Herein we report the development of a sensing platform for gaseous CO2 real-time determination inside FFP2 facemasks. The system consists of an opto-chemical sensor combined with a flexible, battery-less, near-field-enabled tag with resolution and limit of detection of 103 and 140 ppm respectively, and sensor lifetime of 8 h, which is comparable with recommended FFP2 facemask usage times. We include a custom smartphone application for wireless powering, data processing, alert management, results displaying and sharing. Through performance tests during daily activity and exercise monitoring, we demonstrate its utility for non-invasive, wearable health assessment and its potential applicability for preclinical research and diagnostics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 / transmission
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Carbon Dioxide / analysis*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Masks*
  • Personal Protective Equipment*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • SARS-CoV-2 / physiology
  • Wearable Electronic Devices*


  • Carbon Dioxide