IAN Fund backed IIT Delhi incubated cleantech startup -- Chakr Innovation -- has developed Chakr DeCoV- an ozone-based decontamination device to enable safe reuse of N95 masks.

Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare launched the decontamination device Chakr DeCoV on Friday.

Chakr DeCoV, has been launched to obliterate the risk of reusing the N-95 masks by the health care professionals. It can help decontaminate N95 masks in only 90 minutes for safe reuse, as per the official release.

Moreover, increase in the biomedical waste could cause additional infection and environmental risk.

Designed in the shape of a cabinet, Chakr DeCoV is built with a decontamination mechanism, which utilises the high penetrability of Ozone gas for cleaning the pores of the N95 mask. This is to ensure complete decontamination of its intricate layers.

The start-up mentioned that the ozone is a strong oxidizing agent that destroys viruses by diffusing through the protein coat, resulting in damage to the viral RNA. Proper dosage and exposure of Ozone can result in the inactivation of SARS CoV-2. After this, an N95 mask can be reused up to 10 times without any impact on the filtration efficiency (as tested by SITRA).

The team at Chakr Innovation, led by Tushar Batham, VP Engineering, has developed this product under the close guidance of professors and researchers at IIT Delhi.

The technology has been tested at IIT Delhi’s Centre for Biomedical Engineering and has undergone in-house testing for safety and reliability, the company stated.

The viricidal effectiveness has also been tested by ICMR-NIV showing virus inactivation in desired material (permeable material including N95 masks). The system is designed with a biosafety door and a catalytic reduction system to ensure utmost safety against any human exposure to ozone, Chakr noted.

Kushagra Srivastava, CEO, Chakr Innovation, said, “We believe that our product will help solve the rising concerns over biomedical waste, generation while treating novel coronavirus disease. We are glad to have received support from organisations such as ICICI, Coal India, and Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited for our project, who have funded the development and pilot deployment."

Speaking of the technological innovation by Chakr Innovation, Prof. V Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi said in the official announcement, “When it comes to serving the hospitals and our medical professionals, there is a need for providing high-quality PPEs and at the same time ensure their possible reuse and safe disposal. This is essential from a biosafety point of view. It is heartening to see Chakr Innovation working in this direction and building this product to mitigate the challenges posed by this pandemic.”