Hyderabad

Cipla to mass-produce IICT-designed masks

SAANS mask made with CSIR-IICT’s design has three-four layers made of co-extruded hydrophobic polymers with antibacterial properties.

SAANS mask made with CSIR-IICT’s design has three-four layers made of co-extruded hydrophobic polymers with antibacterial properties.   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) has joined hands with Cipla Foundation (CF) to make one lakh high quality masks for distribution across Telangana. The project titled ‘SAANS’ is likely to be taken nationwide involving voluntary bodies of of CF, said chief scientist and chair, business development of the instituted, D. Shailaja, on Wednesday.

Startups, medium and small scale enterprises and self-help groups are to be made partners in mask production with the objective of income generation and to improve the quality of hygienic life in the rural areas for mitigation of COVID-19, she said. CSIR Director General Shekhar C. Mande launched the programme and lauded the “exceptional” contributions made by Cipla over several decades in serving the nation with affordable healthcare. More such industry-lab research partnerships were required for the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, he said.

SAANS mask made with CSIR-IICT’s design has three-four layers made of co-extruded hydrophobic polymers with antibacterial properties. The mask is expected to provide a virus rejection of 60-70%, but more importantly, a 95-98% rejection of respiratory droplets of minimum 0.3 um size – a key factor in controlling the spread of COVID-19, said senior principal scientist and head of the membrane team at IICT, S. Sridhar.

Dr. Sridhar said SAANS mask can last till 30 washes and re-used for up to two-three months. It provides greater breathability making it a better mask compared to expensive limited-use masks, he claimed.

This is the first CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) partnership for CSIR-IICT to further strengthen its existing bond with Cipla, said director S. Chandrashekar. He cited the recent launch of ‘Ciplenza’, the generic version of the antiviral drug for COVID-19 treatment, and observed that the SAANS project will help village communities in prevention of COVID while generating livelihood opportunities for SHGs and small entrepreneurs.

CSIR-IICT has approached potential partners for collaboration under CSR activity with the proposals conceived with sustainable and economically viable business plan for deployment and free distribution of offerings for COVID mitigation involving a potential entrepreneur.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 10:39:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/cipla-to-mass-produce-iict-designed-masks/article32280000.ece

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