Indian scientists develop self-disinfecting, anti-viral face mask

A team of Indian scientists at the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) has developed a self-disinfecting anti-viral face mask to prevent coronavirus.

The Ministry of Science and Technology said that the anti-viral mask is coated with copper-based nanoparticles and has been seen to be effective against coronavirus and several other viral and bacterial infections.

Researchers at International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) in collaboration with Bengaluru-based company Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB) and Resil Chemicals have developed the mask which is biodegradable, highly breathable and washable. It’s a part of the Nano-Mission project, sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology.

The use of a face mask has grown significantly since 2020 when the pandemic began, as it is an effective measure to contain the deadly COVID-19 virus. However, wearing conventional masks is not guaranteed safe, especially in densely-populated places like hospitals, airports, stations and shopping malls where the virus load is very high, the Ministry observed.

“Expensive masks neither exhibit antiviral nor antibacterial properties. Present-day face masks only retain the viruses by filtering and do not kill them and hence, are prone to transmission if the masks are not properly worn or disposed,” the Ministry said.

“Prototype masks having different designs such as single layer and triple layers with nanoparticle coated fabric as outer layer have been demonstrated. A single layer mask is especially useful as a protective antiviral outer mask over a regular mask,” the Ministry said.

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