Even as the entire globe is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, most medical professionals have relied on the N95 respirator masks to lower their infection risks.
But most of them are unaware that the inventor of these masks is actually a Taiwanese.
As a mechanical engineer and material scientist, Dr Peter Tsai is accredited with inventing the electrostatic charging technology needed to produce N95 masks, the highest quality medical masks known to health professionals.
Tsai, who retired from the University of Tennessee in 2019 after teaching for 35 years, holds 12 patents in the United States.
According to reports, the ‘N’ in the N95 stands for ‘not resistant to oil’ while the ‘95’ implies the masks’ ability to block at least 95 per cent of 0.3 micron particles, which may include viral droplets, dust, pollen, and air pollutants from factories and cars.
Tsai’s invention enables regular masks to filter out ten times more air particles — essential for frontline medical workers dealing with continuous viral exposure.
However, the Taiwanese professor keeps a rather low profile and rarely discusses his inventions.