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Design and Development of a Novel Nanofiber Nasal Filter (NNF) to Improve Respiratory Health

Category: Air Pollution and Health Effects

Accepted Manuscripts
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.03.0086
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Taewon T. Han 1, Letao Yang2, Ki-Bum Lee2,3, Gediminas Mainelis1

  • 1 Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
  • 2 Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
  • 3 College of Pharmacy, Kyung-Hee University, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea

Highlights

A new hybrid filter for the NNF was fabricated using electrospinning technique.
The performance of NNF was successfully tested with 26 nm and 3.1 µm PSL particles.
The NNF showed higher collection efficiency compared to existing nasal filters.


Abstract

Currently available nasal filters are not well-suited to protect against the fine and ultrafine airborne particles. In this research, we designed and evaluated a novel nanofiber nasal filter (NNF) capable of reducing personal exposures not only to large allergenic particles but also to ultrafine particles, thus reducing respiratory health risks. A new hybrid filter (HF) medium for the NNF was fabricated by overlaying a carbon filter substrate with nylon nanofibers produced by electrospinning. After optimizing filter’s production parameters, the HF was produced from the nylon-6 polymer solution with the concentration of 15 wt%, a substrate based on MERV 5 carbon filter with 61 kg m–3 density, and the nanofiber surface coating density of 0.72 g m–2 (or 0.54 g m–2 as a second choice). The new HF was tested with fluorescent polystyrene latex beads of 0.026–3.1 µm in size and at 7.5–30 L min–1 operating flow rates. The newly developed NNF showed more than 90% collection efficiency for particles >1 µm representing bacteria and molds and > 50% for particles < 0.5 µm, including ultrafine particles – about 2.3× improvement compared to commercially available nasal filters. The NNF could serve as a useful tool to minimize our exposures to airborne pollutants.

Keywords

Personal exposure Electrospinning Hybrid filter Carbon filter Ultrafine particles


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