Special Issue on COVID-19 Aerosol Drivers, Impacts and Mitigation (XI)

Bob Boogaard This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Ali Tas4, Joep Nijssen2, Freek Broeren2, John van den Dobbelsteen2, Vincent Verhoeven3, Jip Pluim3, Sing Dekker3, Eric J. Snijder4,  Martijn J. van Hemert4, Sander Herfst1

1 Department of Virology, Erasmus University Medical Center, 3015 GD Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2 Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering, Department of Biomechanical Engineering, Delft University of Technology, 2628CN, Delft, The Netherlands
3 Department of Medical Physics, Department of Infection Prevention, Reinier de Graaf Gasthuis, 2625 AD, Delft, The Netherlands
4 Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, 2333 ZA, Leiden, The Netherlands

Received: July 21, 2020
Revised: November 3, 2020
Accepted: November 24, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.07.0424  

Cite this article:

Boogaard, B., Tas, A., Nijssen, J., Broeren, F., van den Dobbelsteen, J., Verhoeven, V., Pluim, J., Dekker, S., Snijder, E.J., van Hemert, M.J., Herfst, S. (2021). Efficacy Assessment of Newly-designed Filtering Facemasks during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 21, 200424. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.07.0424


  • New facemasks were designed for local production.
  • The masks exhibit similar filtration and safety characteristics as a FFP2-mask.
  • A new experimental setup has been developed for virus filtration experiments.
  • The new masks filter coronavirus-loaded aerosols as efficient as a FFP2-mask.


The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic resulted in shortages of production and test capacity of FFP2-respirators. Such facemasks are required to be worn by healthcare professionals when performing aerosol-generating procedures on COVID-19 patients. In response to the high demand and short supply, we designed three models of facemasks that are suitable for local production. As these facemasks should meet the requirements of an FFP2-certified facemask, the newly-designed facemasks were tested on the filtration efficiency of the filter material, inward leakage, and breathing resistance with custom-made experimental setups. In these tests, the facemasks were benchmarked against a commercial FFP2 facemask. The filtration efficiency of the facemask’s filter material was also tested with coronavirus-loaded aerosols under physiologically relevant conditions. This multidisciplinary effort resulted in the design and production of facemasks that meet the FFP2 requirements, and which can be produced at local production facilities.

Keywords: Coronavirus filtration efficiency, Facemask, FFP2, NaCl particle filtration, Respirator

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