About the Sheldon G mask

At the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, Michelle's daughter, Sheldon Gentling, became increasingly concerned about her father each morning when he went to work.  He is a senior citizen, an essential worker and among the most vulnerable during this pandemic.  During her isolation, in her junior year of high school, she paid close attention to CDC guidelines on wearing face coverings and when the CDC recommended healthcare workers wear bandannas, due to the shortage of N95 respirators, she was motivated to come up with a better level of protection.

She found her inspiration after reading about Peter Tsai who dedicated his life to perfecting the creation of the surgical mask and the N95 respirator. With a sense of urgency, she spent hours researching and comparing material fiber content in an N95 respirator and fiber content in fabrics available to the general public.  After she decided on the right multi-layered fabric combination, she designed and developed her first mask for her father. Then, without hesitation she recruited family members to sew face masks and started donating them to healthcare providers. 

After learning about a research project being conducted by Northeastern University on layered mask systems of commonly available fabrics to block virus-like nanoparticles, she, decided to donated her research, a long with her face mask, to be studied and tested for effectiveness. The research study was then peer-reviewed and accepted for publication by ACS Nano, a scientific journal, on May 21, 2020.  On May 22, 2020, the University contacted Sheldon and gave her some great news!  The Sheldon G mask outperformed 70 other layered mask systems in the test, including an N95 respirator. 

Sheldon’s face mask project started out as a labor of love, and it was that labor of love that made a difference.  It was her discovery of knowing the right fabrics to use and the right layered combination of those fabrics that contributed to face mask research. Working with the research team at Northeastern has been an honor and a privilege, and her experience has opened up a window of bright future possibilities, and she will continue to follow that bright light with grit, passion and perseverance, but for now she is committed to stopping the spread of Covid-19 by masking America one mask at a time.