Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) has developed affordable anti-microbial (antiviral/antibacterial) spray-based coating for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and 3D printed ear guard for comfortable use of face masks by healthcare workers amid COVID-19 pandemic.
The concepts have been developed by Dr Biman Mandal, Professor of the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Guwahati, along with his PhD scholars, Bibhas Bhunia and Ashutosh Bandyopadhyay.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that are being used presently are designed to protect the wearer from infectious microbes/aqueous virus droplets acting as a barrier.
However, these PPE, generally, do not have the ability to prevent the spread of microbes as the surface of the fabric readily 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 protocols.
In an attempt to safeguard healthcare workers and citizens from current coronavirus crisis and other infectious diseases, the research group has developed an affordable anti-microbial (antiviral/antibacterial) spray-based coating for PPE kits to kill and prevent the spread of microbes once they come in contact with the coated PPE surface.
The strategic association of metal nanoparticle cocktail, such as copper, silver and other active ingredients, present in the spray acts as an antimicrobial agent.
This ensures limited penetration and accumulation of microbial contaminants on PPE.
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 sprayed/dip-coated onto any kind of surface including textiles and other medical device surfaces to get rid of microbial load.
This will allow reusability of PPEs and easy containment of the microbes.
The research team has developed the prototype of the technology.
Further validation of product safety is going on and anti-microbial action specifically against coronavirus will be done at a government facility.
The team has filed for a provisional patent for the technology.iit