Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Review article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Potential natural polymer-based nanofibres for the development of facemasks in countering viral outbreaks

Shanmugam, Vigneshwaran; Babu, Karthik; Garrison, Thomas F.; Capezza, Antonio J.; Olsson, Richard T.; Ramakrishna, Seeram; Hedenqvist, Mikael S.; Singha, Shuvra; Bartoli, Mattia; Giorcelli, Mauro; Sas, Gabriel; Forsth, Michael; Das, Oisik; Restas, Agoston; Berto, Filippo


The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has rapidly increased the demand for facemasks as a measure to reduce the rapid spread of the pathogen. Throughout the pandemic, some countries such as Italy had a monthly demand of ca. 90 million facemasks. Domestic mask manufacturers are capable of manufacturing 8 million masks each week, although the demand was 40 million per week during March 2020. This dramatic increase has contributed to a spike in the generation of facemask waste. Facemasks are often manufactured with synthetic materials that are non-biodegradable, and their increased usage and improper disposal are raising environmental concerns. Consequently, there is a strong interest for developing biodegradable facemasks made with for example, renewable nanofibres. A range of natural polymer-based nanofibres has been studied for their potential to be used in air filter applications. This review article examines potential natural polymer-based nanofibres along with their filtration and antimicrobial capabilities for developing biodegradable facemask that will promote a cleaner production.


biodegradable; electrospinning; fibers

Published in

Journal of Applied Polymer Science
2021, Volume: 138, number: 27, article number: e50658
Publisher: WILEY

      SLU Authors

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Polymer Technologies

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)