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COVID continues to be a problem, despite vaccination. Masks do reduce viral transmission. PPE is more effective than other masks but is still only 98% protective when worn and of course, provides no protection when not worn. FFP3 masks are even more effective than surgical masks.


Outside its host cells, SARS-CoV2 is more vulnerable, even to substances (virus blockers) harmless to man, such as fucoidan (brown seaweed which is "anti-flu" and an anti inflammatory), carrageenan (red seaweed clinically proven to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection in health care personnel treated with an iota-carrageenan nasal spray), liquorice and menthol.


The eScent team are working with ENT/Allergy advisors Dr Glenis Scadding (Royal ENT Hospital / UCLH) and Prof Pete Smith (Queensland Allergy Service, Australia) to look at how we can enhance the protection of our NHS staff - we suggest a combination approach: the use of an FFP3 mask plus automated intermittent use (via eScent) of a nasal virus blocker spray at donning and doffing (for example, algae nasal spray). This would provide continued protection during staff meal breaks, should stop virus colonisation of the nasal passages, and reduce viral transmission to others. In addition, the mask is reusable, reducing the vast amounts of waste currently being generated which is devastating ecosystems and polluting oceans.

eScent is a revolutionary transformative technology that made the 2022  #21towatch shortlist. It could change the face of FFP3 masks and the utility of natural virus blocking properties in real-life scenarios. Protected by six patents and funded by an InnovateUK "Sustainable Innovation Fund" Award, eScent is a wearable nebuliser that offers "personal protection assurance" via a patented liquid delivery system to help combat viruses.

Further work is needed to assess the effectiveness or otherwise of viral attachment inhibitors in vitro, then in vivo. Please contact us if you wish to partner on a study. 

Fucoidan - large brown seaweed kelps, Tasmania
Photo courtesy of Marinova, Tasmania
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