Indian Scientists Develop Self-Disinfecting, Biodegradable Face Masks To Combat COVID-19

Story Highlights
  • Indian scientists develop self-disinfecting antiviral mask.
  • Copper-based Nanoparticles are used to disinfect the mask.
  • Scientists at ARCI in coalition with several industries developed the mask.

A team of Indian scientists have developed a self-disinfecting antiviral mask to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Science and Technology said on Friday, February 4. The mask exhibits high performance against the virus as well as several other viral and bacterial infections. The ministry emphasized that controlling the virus transmission by wearing conventional masks has been challenging, especially in densely populated areas like airports, hospitals, stations, and shopping malls where the virus load is very high.

Scientists at International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), an autonomous R&D Centre of Department of Science and Technology (DST), in collaboration with the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB) and Resil Chemicals, a Bengaluru based company have developed the self-disinfecting ‘Copper-based Nanoparticle-coated Antiviral Face Masks’ under the DST sponsored Nano-Mission project, to fight against the pandemic.

The ARCI developed copper-based nanoparticles of around 20 nanometres by a Flame Spray Pyrolysis (FSP) processing facility. The FSP process involves the conversion of solution precursors into nanopowders by high-temperature pyrolytic decomposition. Stable nanoparticle suspension was obtained by optimising the solid loading and pH. A uniform layer of this nano-coating on the cotton fabric with good adhesion was achieved using a suitable binder. The coated fabric exhibited an efficacy of more than 99.9 per cent against bacteria. CSIR-CCMB tested the efficacy of this fabric against SARS-CoV-2 for their disinfection properties and reported 99.9 per cent disinfection, as evident from the standard results. Concerns about disposal of conventional masks has also been addressed by this invention.

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