An IISc team has developed a cost-effective, three-layer antiviral and antibacterial mask that could prove helpful for healthcare workers and high-risk groups in the context of COVID-19.
Currently available antiviral masks are either expensive or inefficient in reducing viral transmission. There is a need to rapidly manufacture affordable multi-layered masks. For maximum protection, the fabrics used in masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be virucidal.
The mask developed by the IISc team from the Department of Materials Engineering consists of modified polyester, with a nanofibrous polymer membrane deposited that renders the first layer highly hydrophobic, restricting the entry of liquid droplets that may contain the virus. The middle layer is also coated with a nanofibrous membrane loaded with antiviral agents, to inactivate microbes that may have escaped the first layer. The innermost layer is a cotton fabric for the user’s comfort.