Nanofiberous facemasks as protectives against pandemic respiratory viruses

Expert Rev Respir Med. 2024 Mar-Apr;18(3-4):127-143. doi: 10.1080/17476348.2024.2356601. Epub 2024 May 22.


Introduction: Wearing protective face masks and respirators has been a necessity to reduce the transmission rate of respiratory viruses since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. Nevertheless, the outbreak has revealed the need to develop efficient air filter materials and innovative anti-microbial protectives. Nanofibrous facemasks, either loaded with antiviral nanoparticles or not, are very promising personal protective equipment (PPE) against pandemic respiratory viruses.

Areas covered: In this review, multiple types of face masks and respirators are discussed as well as filtration mechanisms of particulates. In this regard, the limitations of traditional face masks were summarized and the advancement of nanotechnology in developing nanofibrous masks and air filters was discussed. Different methods of preparing nanofibers were explained. The various approaches used for enhancing nanofibrous face masks were covered.

Expert opinion: Although wearing conventional face masks can limit viral infection spread to some extent, the world is in great need for more protective face masks. Nanofibers can block viral particles efficiently and can be incorporated into face masks in order to enhance their filtration efficiency. Also, we believe that other modifications such as addition of antiviral nanoparticles can significantly increase the protection power of facemasks.

Keywords: COVID-19; face masks; nanofibers; nanotechnology; respirators.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • COVID-19* / transmission
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Masks*
  • Nanofibers*
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Respiratory Protective Devices
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Antiviral Agents