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Fight Against COVID-19: An Innovation To Make Masks And Protective Gear Reusable

Anti-viral nano-coating is coating the surfaces with tiny particles of substances that suffocate and kill microbes like the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Making Masks And Protective Gear Reusable Through Antiviral Nano-coating Spray
Highlights
  • Antiviral nano-coating is non-toxic for humans
  • It usually comprises copper-based nano particles along with polymers
  • It makes PPEs and masks reusable without the fear of spreading the virus

New Delhi: The country will soon have antiviral, antimicrobial spray that can destroy viruses including coronavirus and also textiles that can help in making reusable personal protective equipment kits and masks. As the medical community is waging a battle to tackle the spread of the current pandemic and develop a cure for COVID-19, experts focus on preventative measures in order to curb the resurgence of the coronavirus and be better prepared to deal with the disease logistically. Researchers at Punjab University and Muse Wearables, an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras incubated start-up, have developed antiviral nano-coating spray and antiviral nano-coated textile respectively that is up to 99.99 per cent effective against bacteria, moulds and viruses.

Also Read: Social Distancing Lessons From Kerala: Cabs Install Transparent Partition To Prevent Spread Of COVID-19

What Is Anti-Viral Nano-Coating?

According to KLN Sai Prasanth, 30-year-old Chief Executive Officer, Conzumex Industries, which operates the Muse Wearables and an IIT-Madras alumni who studied nano-coating during his Masters, it is the process of coating a surface with particles as small as 1 nanometer to 100 nanometers. One nanometer is one-billionth of a meter and an antiviral nano-coating refers to coating a surface with nanoparticles of such substances that have antimicrobial and antiviral properties like metals such as copper, titanium and silver along with polymers. He said,

When you coat the surface with nanoparticles of an antimicrobial substance, this means that a large number of small particles are present in an area. Therefore, these particles being in very large numbers (in billions) are able to amplify their antimicrobial mechanisms which they are not able to do in large size. This implies that the capacity of the substance to destroy the virus is elevated to a great extent. So when a virus comes in contact with the antiviral coated surface it destroys the virus instead of becoming contagious. It is absolutely non-toxic for humans to use.

He further explained that the nanoparticles attract the RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) in the genes of the virus to come out of its cell and thus the virus gets killed. Muse Wearables is working on producing antiviral nano-coated textile material that can be used in manufacturing various items of use like personal protective gears, masks, uniforms and furniture covers among others.

Also Read: Unpredictable Effects Of Novel Coronavirus On Human Body Keep Doctors Baffled

How Can Antiviral Nano Coating Help In The Fight Against COVID-19?

Professor Surinder Kumar Mehta of the Department of Chemistry of Punjab University who has developed antiviral nano-coating spray using nano-copper particles and polymers said,

We have developed an affordable antimicrobial nano-coating spray for masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) kits for healthcare workers to prevent them from COVID-19 infection and from themselves becoming a virus carrier. It can be used by anyone, on any kind of surface. When the virus touches the surface, because of its interaction with the nano-particles it will automatically get destroyed and thus making the surface safe. This will allow reusability of masks/PPEs and easy containment of the microbes and thus keeping the healthcare staff protected while also addressing the issue of lack of adequate number of PPEs for our frontline workers.

He further said that it is washable and lasts for over 45 days because the polymer used in the spray makes the coating strong. Along with PPEs and masks, the spray can be used to frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, door handles, car steering, staircase railings, spectacle, laptops, and phones, among others. Professor Mehta said,

The innovation is affordable as Copper is relatively inexpensive than silver and titanium. Thus, even the poor can reap the benefit of this technology at their homes and place of work. It can be sprayed/dip-coated onto any kind of surface including textiles and other medical device surfaces to get rid of microbial load.

Also Read: CSIR-NAL Develops Non-Invasive Ventilator To Treat COVID-19 Patients

When Will The Antiviral Textile And Nano-Coating Spray Become Available For Mass Use?

According to Professor Mehta the coating will be available for commercial purchase by the end of next month. He said that the formula developed by his team has been given to a start-up which is currently waiting for clinical tests, analyzing logistics and will soon start the mass production of the spray.

Muse Wearables, on the other hand, is also waiting for the end-point assessment on textiles using the SAR-CoV-2 virus itself which according to Prasanth can happen at only two places in the country- ICMR (Indian Council Of Medical Research) and NIV (National Institute of Virology), Pune. He said,

Academically everything is set and the process has been tested with a large number of viruses. We are waiting for our slot at the ICMR facility and soon after publishing the findings of the test with coronavirus, we may start selling the technology from June first week. We have already been approached by 60 companies, mostly textile. We have filed for two patents till now.

Considering the effectiveness of nano-coating technology, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology has recently called for research in upscaling antiviral nano-coating for producing anti-COVID-19 Triple Layer Medical masks and N-95 respirator in large quantities.

By next month, there are two anti-viral nano-coated products that are likely to hit the market- an anti-viral nano-coating spray that can be used by anyone including the general public and manufacturers and anti-viral nano-coated textile that can be used by manufactures making PPEs, masks, uniforms, sheets and furniture covers among others. As Professor Mehta noted, doctors and nurses may soon be dressed to kill the virus.

Also Read: Fighting COVID19: Health Ministry To Conduct Population-Based Sero Survey In Select Districts

World

24,20,23,922Cases
20,36,06,535Active
3,34,95,808Recovered
49,21,579Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,20,23,922 and 49,21,579 have died; 20,36,06,535 are active cases and 3,34,95,808 have recovered as on October 21, 2021 at 4:33 am.

India

3,41,27,450 18,454Cases
1,78,831 733Active
3,34,95,808 17,561Recovered
4,52,811 160Deaths
In India, there are 3,41,27,450 confirmed cases including 4,52,811 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,78,831 and 3,34,95,808 have recovered as on October 21, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,96,645 1,825

29,333 1,075

64,27,426 2,879

1,39,886 21

Kerala

48,79,790 11,150

83,333 2,476

47,69,373 8,592

27,084 82

Karnataka

29,84,484 462

9,103 26

29,37,405 479

37,976 9

Tamil Nadu

26,90,633 1,170

14,058 268

26,40,627 1,418

35,948 20

Andhra Pradesh

20,61,810 523

5,566 88

20,41,924 608

14,320 3

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,058 11

112 6

16,87,048 17

22,898

West Bengal

15,82,813 867

7,491 63

15,56,315 795

19,007 9

Delhi

14,39,466 25

310 12

14,14,066 37

25,090

Odisha

10,36,532 559

4,387 106

10,23,849 451

8,296 2

Chhattisgarh

10,05,735 34

185 3

9,91,979 36

13,571 1

Rajasthan

9,54,393 1

38 0

9,45,401 1

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,340 14

176 9

8,16,077 22

10,087 1

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,709 9

82 3

7,82,104 6

10,523

Haryana

7,71,116 15

133 7

7,60,934 8

10,049

Bihar

7,26,036 3

30 12

7,16,345 15

9,661

Telangana

6,69,556 191

3,968 28

6,61,646 162

3,942 1

Assam

6,07,427 308

3,610 25

5,97,859 282

5,958 1

Punjab

6,02,113 32

232 16

5,85,331 15

16,550 1

Jharkhand

3,48,486 25

142 14

3,43,209 11

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,773 8

176 1

3,36,199 6

7,398 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,299 78

800 3

3,26,070 80

4,429 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,936 110

1,394 46

2,16,815 64

3,727

Goa

1,77,706 47

597 23

1,73,755 70

3,354

Puducherry

1,27,521 42

461 29

1,25,208 71

1,852

Manipur

1,22,970 71

1,360 2

1,19,706 66

1,904 3

Mizoram

1,15,207 741

10,263 505

1,04,548 1,243

396 3

Tripura

84,351 2

95 7

83,440 9

816

Meghalaya

83,158 79

761 21

80,958 58

1,439

Chandigarh

65,312 2

24 1

64,468 3

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,043 12

138 7

54,625 19

280

Sikkim

31,800 17

175 6

31,232 22

393 1

Nagaland

31,659 18

255 8

30,728 10

676

Ladakh

20,886 3

34 0

20,644 3

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,676

2 2

10,670 2

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,646

7 1

7,510 1

129

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