KOCHI: To help tackle the current Covid-19 pandemic, the research scholars of the Nanoscience Research Centre (NSRC) of Nirmala College in Muvattupuzha have developed a new face mask. The mask has an efficacy rate of 99.9 per cent, said Associate Professor Thomas Varghese.
The nanofibre face mask has three layers — outer, centre and inner layer — said Thomas, who supervised the project. The central layer, also known as the ‘filter layer’, filters microbes like bacteria and viruses.
“The N95 masks used by the healthcare workers and the public also has three layers that trap microbes. What sets apart our mask is the incorporation of nanomaterial coating on the filter layer, which traps the contaminants and destroys it,” said Dr Thomas. Nanomaterials with sizes 30 to 150 nanometre is used for the coating. Using the electrospinning method this layer can filter microbes of many sizes.
The nanofabric face mask is suitable as a surgical mask as well. “It is highly effective for the healthcare workers as it can provide high protection with the 99.9 per cent filtration property,” Dr Thomas said. According to Dr Thomas, the weight of this three-layered mask is one-fourth of the weight of the N95 or any other masks available in the market at present. “The patent application has already been given and the technology will be provided to an appropriate company in the future,” Thomas added.