SDSU assistant professor working on research projects regarding COVID-19

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BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – Masks and other face coverings can help slow the spread of COVID-19. One SDSU assistant professor is working on research that could help make that protection even better.

Saikat Basu is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at South Dakota State University.

Right now he is working on research to develop a mask that has a filter that could help better protect people from COVID-19.

“The problems with the masks we have, is this leakage, that’s a problematic thing, so we want to tackle that and make it more breathable and to capture only the droplets that would have this variance,” SDSU assistant professor of mechanical engineering, Saikat Basu said. “The ones that we are wearing now, particularly surgical masks or N95s, they might be capturing droplets that probably don’t need to be captured because they are too small to contain any of this virus particles.”

He is also working on another project to develop antiviral drugs to target where the virus starts.

“The infection actually starts here, which is the back of the nose, so our nose has two airways and they converge together, so it’s like at that point, so that is where the infection first starts from, this has been verified from a number of studies over the last two or three months, so if we can target this particle site and send drugs over there, right at the very beginning, that would help to stop the infection when it is still small before it starts infecting the lower airway,” Basu said.

Research that could have an impact far beyond South Dakota.

For both of these research projects he is working with multiple institution teams.

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