NITK-incubated start-up to produce reusable face shields

AJ Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on July 14, 2020 Published on July 14, 2020

Apahatech Solutions LLP, a start-up incubated at the Science and Technology Entrepreneurs’ Park (STEP) of Mangaluru-based National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK), is now venturing into the production of reusable transparent face shields coated with silver nanoparticles.

Arun M Isloor, professor at the Department of Chemistry of NITK and designated partner of Apahatech Solutions, told BusinessLine that this is the first such reported commercial product where silver nanoparticles are coated on the bands of the face shield to give it an antimicrobial property.

Asked the reasons for using the silver nanoparticles, he said micro-organisms could possibly grow due to sweat and other factors because of the spongy layer. The coating of silver nanoparticles will help keep the region sterile.

Besides surgical instruments, silver nanoparticles are being used in different applications for the last seven-eight years, he added.

It may be mentioned here that Isloor’s team had launched low-cost reusable face shields in April. These shields can be reused just by wiping both surfaces with a soap solution using a cotton swab.

These face shields are made of transparent polyester sheets of 100-micron. The shield covers about 180 degrees of the frontal portion of the head, thereby providing protection against splashes, or saliva from any infected person. The band is made of a lightweight material that gives feeling of comfort unlike that of elastic, he said.

To Army Fund

The intention of commercialising this product is not to make profit but to fulfil the needs of the public at an affordable price, he said. A part of the business proceeds will be given to NITK as royalty.

“Whatever small business I get, I will donate a part of it to the Indian Army Fund. My contribution may be small. If some big companies come forward to manufacture this, they can give a lot to the Fund,” he said.

The intention of launching a start-up was also to show his students that there are a lot of opportunities in entrepreneurship. “Entrepreneurship is possible under any circumstances, and India too can produce products at affordable prices under the Make-in-India initiative and become ‘aatmanirbhar’,” he added.

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Published on July 14, 2020
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