Pune (Maharshtra): A Pune-based startup has developed a three dimensional face mask, coated with anti-viral agents that attack the Covid-19 virus when it comes in contact with them, an official said here on Monday.
Developed by Thincr Technologies India Pvt Ltd, the virucidal mask project was among the earliest projects selected for commercialisation by the Technology Development Board of the Department of Science & Technology, as part of the government's fight against the virus.
The founder-director of Thincr Technologies, Shitalkumar Zambad, claimed that these cost-effective masks coated with virucides are more effective than N-95, 3-Ply or cloth masks currently available in the market.
However, he said that the coated layer can be incorporated as an additional layer in the existing masks of all kinds which can help provide extra protection beyond that achieved by the filtration mechanisms.
Zambad said the mask coating - comprising a Sodium Olefin Sulfonate-based mixture - has been tested and shown to inactivate the Covid-19 virus.
"It is a soap-forming agent with hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties. When it comes in contact with the virus, it disrupts its outer membrane. The ingredients, used widely in cosmetics, remain stable at room temperature," Zambad explained.
These virucidal masks are found to have bacterial filtration efficiency higher than 95 per cent, and for the first time, the company has used 3D printers to make multilayer cloth filters for plastic-moulded or 3D-printed mask covers, he added.
Encouraged by the results, Thincr Technologies has now applied for a patent for the product to launch commercial production, Zambad said.
Through an NGO, it has distributed 6,000 virucidal masks to four government hospitals in Nandurbar, Nashik, for use by healthcare workers, besides giving them to a girls' school and college in Bengaluru.