IIT Guwahati researchers develop antiviral coating for PPEs

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 13, 2020

A team of researchers of Indian Institute of Technology (IITG) Guwahati has developed an antimicrobial (antiviral/antibacterial) spray-based coating for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and 3D-printed ear guard for comfortable use of face masks by healthcare workers.

While PPEs are meant to protect wearers from infectious microbes and virus droplets, they generally do not have the ability to prevent the spread of microbes as the surface of the fabric allows adherence and accumulation of microbes with time. This leads to further spread of the microbes due to negligent handling of PPE and wrong disposal methods.

In an attempt to safeguard healthcare workers fighting the current coronavirus crisis, the research group led by Biman B. Mandal, professor at Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering at IITG, developed the spray-based coating using metal nanoparticles such as copper and silver as well as other active ingredients. The coating is capable of killing or preventing the spread of microbes once they come in contact with the coated PPE surface. Thus, the coating has the potential to reduce the risk of secondary infection by limiting the transmission of the microbes.

The innovation is affordable and readily deployable using existing infrastructure available with PPE manufacturers. It can be spray- or dip-coated onto any kind of surface including textiles to get rid of microbial load. This will allow reusability of PPEs and easy containment of the microbes, the researchers said.

The IITG scientists also made an ear gurard prototype using 3D printing which makes long-time usage of face masks possible. The ergonomical design of the guard holds the face mask strap in a place without giving pressure to the ear. Therefore, masks can be worn effortlessly for hours without pain or discomfort to the wearer.

Published on April 13, 2020

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