Now, a self-disinfecting, biodegradable face mask

It’s a collaborative effort of ARCI, CCMB and a firm in Bengaluru

February 05, 2022 12:55 am | Updated February 06, 2022 07:51 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Copper-based nanoparticle-coated antiviral masks to combat COVID-19.

Copper-based nanoparticle-coated antiviral masks to combat COVID-19.

A self-disinfecting ‘copper-based nanoparticle-coated antiviral face mask’ to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic was unveiled on Friday. It kills the virus and not just filters it, and is biodegradable, highly breathable and washable too.

This novel invention has been a collaborative effort by the scientists of the city based International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), an autonomous R&D centre of Department of Science & Technology (DST), CSIR- Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB) and a Bengaluru based private firm Resil Chemicals.

While public mask wearing is most effective in reducing the spread of COVID mainly through airborne respiratory particles, most masks available in the country neither exhibit antiviral nor antibacterial properties, said an ARCI official spokesperson.

And, it is very difficult to control the virus transmission by wearing conventional masks particularly in densely populated places like hospitals, airports, stations, shopping malls and so on where the virus load is very high. In this scenario, ARCI has developed copper-based nanoparticles of around 20 nanometres by a ‘Flame Spray Pyrolysis’ (FSP) processing facility through which the stable nanoparticle suspension was obtained.

A uniform layer of this nano-coating on the cotton fabric with good adhesion was achieved using a suitable binder. This coated fabric exhibited an efficacy of more than 99.9% against bacteria. CSIR-CCMB tested the efficacy of this fabric against SARS-CoV-2 for disinfection properties and reported a 99.9% disinfection from the standard results., she said

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