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Researchers develop fog-free protective goggles for medical staff

By Park Sae-jin Posted : May 4, 2020, 09:44 Updated : May 4, 2020, 09:44

[Courtesy of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) ]

SEOUL -- A South Korean state research institute has developed a fog-free protective goggle that would not fog up even when medical staff and scientists wearing masks work at a humid environment such as labs and hospitals. They don't have to take off goggles for cleaning or sterilization over again.

A protective goggle is a must-wear item for medical staff and scientists who are exposed to sprays of microdroplets such as sneeze droplets and chemical substances. However, the goggle fogs up when used over a long time because of water vapor and body heat trapped inside.

The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) said that its research team led by professor Moon Myeong-eun has developed a fog-free goggle by creating microscopic bumps inside the eyepiece part and coating it with a hydrophilic material.

Because of special coating, water vapor will not form droplets and spread evenly on the inner surface. Moon's team found that coating has not deteriorated even after the goggle was dipped into 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit) hot water. The state-run Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAER) has received 35 prototypes of the special goggle.

"We hope the newly-developed goggle will provide help for COVID-19 quarantine or at medical sites," Moon said. Researchers used the same coating technology to develop another special mask that would prevent virus-carrying saliva droplets from being adhered to its surface. The special mask has yet to be tested by a state watchdog.


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