Inventor of N95 mask comes out of retirement to fight pandemic

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Peter Tsai, who invented the filter material used in N95 masks, has emerged from retirement, saying he felt a “responsibility to help” amid a flurry of questions about how to use the technology.

Since coming out of retirement in March, Tsai has been at the forefront of developing new ways to sterilize the masks’ disposable respirators and increase production.

“I felt very stressed in the very beginning,” he told the Knoxville News Sentinel. “I got a lot of pressure and a lot of questions.”

Tsai was able to reach out to other researchers as well as interdisciplinary research group N95DECON, which tested several of his suggestions for how to sterilize the masks, eventually recommending some of his approaches.

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