The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has recently developed an antiviral and antibacterial coating technology for multi-layered masks that can potentially disinfect and destroy the novel coronavirus known for causing the Covid-19 disease. This development was brought into action following a conversation with the Vellore based Christian Medical College over an insufficient supply of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Since there is no vaccine for the disease so far, the best plan of action is to prevent and kill the virus itself. This has the potential of greatly reducing transmission from person to person and is much more effective than over the counter maks.
At a fraction of the cost of the N95 masks, the manufacturers believe that this 3 layer technology is more or just as effective. While the N95 mask will cost you anywhere between Rs. 300-600, the new 3 layer textile based mask is priced at only Rs. 22, making it a more preferable option.
Unlike the N95 masks which have electrostatically charged fires, the outer layer of the threefold textile-based masks is made of a nanofibrous polymer membrane that gets deposited on the modified polyester. The first layer of the mask is hydrophobic, which means that it repels all liquid particles it comes in contact with. The middle layer is also coated with the nanofibrous membrane, but enhanced with antiviral and antibacterial agents which inactivate the virus or bacteria that make it through the first layer. The last and innermost layer is a soft cotton fabric.
The nanofibrous membranes are made of biodegradable polymer, the antibacterial and antiviral agents used on the mask’s layers are approved by the USFDA.
It is claimed that once the virus particles are on the middle layer, the antiviral agents partially kill the virus in 30 minutes and completely within two hours.