Home Markets This $59 clear silicon face mask on Kickstarter has already raised more...

This $59 clear silicon face mask on Kickstarter has already raised more than $320,000 from backers and is being tested by labs at MIT — see how it works

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  • A former Columbia professor developed the Seeus95, an adhesive silicon mask without earloops.
  • It’s made of silicone and chitosin, a polymer used to heal skin.
  • The project has raised over $300,000 on Kickstarter.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Masks work to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by blocking contagious particles, and the CDC recommends everyone wear them to decrease transmission of the virus when social distancing is impossible.

Medical grade N95 masks are the most effective, followed by surgical masks. With people outside of healthcare professions suddenly masking up, designers and entrepreneurs have been designing all kinds of other solutions. 

Alice Min Soo Chun and her team of designers are crowdfunding the Seeus95 mask, an adhesive, clear silicone mask, on Kickstarter. The fund has already raised more than $300,000, far beyond the $25,000 goal with less than a week to go and over 3,000 backers. Chun is a former professor of architectural design and material technology at Columbia and Parsons.

The Seeus95 mask has not been evaluated by the CDC and requires further testing and expert opinions. The designers are working with MIT Lincoln Laboratory to lead testing of the filter. Crowdfunding ideas also don’t always result in actual products, although Chun has delivered on four previous campaigns. 

In February, Alice Min Soo Chun saw the waste created by hundreds of thousands of non-recyclable surgical masks each day from her location in New York. GettyImages 1155248873 Leave surgical masks and N95s for healthcare workers.

Chun also noted the irritation, acne, and face marks left by masks, especially on healthcare workers who wear them for hours. respirator nurse n95 mask health care worker medical

She sketched the design for the Seeus95 on a napkin. 01 OLIVIA 01 See Us 95.

Early sketches show how the design evolved. earlySketches Early sketches of the mask.

Her kitchen became a temporary lab where she made prototypes out of plaster and resin. 01 barney shadow See Us 95.

It took 56 early designs to arrive at the current model. shieldMolds Molds.

The mask is designed with a focus on comfort and wearability, with features like a nose cushion to prevent irritation. 01 Lady Side2_R See Us 95.

The mask is made of silicone, which is more durable than plastic and can be recycled. 01 alice 02 IMG_6387 See Us 95.

Silicone is also flexible, so it can adjust to fit the contours of different faces. 07 mat See Us 95.

Sanitizing the mask’s surface is simple: soap and water, an alcohol wipe, or three minutes in the microwave will get the job done. 001 barney dumboIMG_5171 See Us 95.

The mask sticks to the wearer’s face because of a proprietary material: Skin Therapy Layer. 01 barney IMG_5077 See Us 95.

The material contains Chitosan, a polymer used in skincare and makeup products to heal skin. 001 barney IMG_6398 See Us 95.

SEEUS95 even claims that the Skin Therapy Layer has added benefits of smoothing skin and fighting wrinkles. 001 FINAL! olivia080320 See Us 95.

The mask can be work with an airtight seal or opened slightly around the chin. 001 olivia IMG_5012 See Us 95.

The mask has two filters, one in each cheek. 01 side matilda See Us 95.

The filters use silk, bamboo, cotton, and silver, which the designers call an “Alternative N95 bio-filter.” 01 VAZ 02 See Us 95.

The filter design is still in the testing stage, and MIT Lincoln Lab’s efficiency report found about 98% efficiency in tests so far. IMG_5555 See Us 95.

Anti-fog coating keeps the lower half of the face visible through the mask. 01Ashley See Us 95.

Making the mask clear was an important reason for the design, according to the Kickstarter listing. 2 A HOME FACE 2 See Us 95.

“Do we miss a piece of our selves when we miss sharing a smile with another? Our identities and our humanity are linked to our faces,” designers said in a press release. 02 side matilda See Us 95.

Though the mask is clear, it can still be customized. 11 0livia 1500 See Us 95.

Backers can also buy tattoos to stick to the mask for an added $8. 12 olivia 2000 See Us 95.

Masks will retail for $59, including filter replacements, with discounts for Kickstarter backers. 05 side mat See Us 95.