The wet masks attract the microorganisms and act as a breeding ground for those organisms to multiply in number. This will affect the person wearing it and get easily infected.
Current Affairs:Dr.Viswanatha R from Jyothy Institute of Technology, Bengaluru under the DST Nano Mission has developed organic-inorganic hybrid nanocoatings for disposable masks. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has approved the large-scale production of the mask. Covid-19 News Updates
Why nano-coating is needed?
The N95 masks are capable of filtering out all types of particles, including viruses and bacteria. These masks are expensive and need prior training as standard practice before using it. Inexpensive disposable masks have several limitations. These often get wet through salivary droplets, body fluids, and sweat. The wet masks attract the microorganisms and act as a breeding ground for those organisms to multiply in number. This will affect the person wearing it and get easily infected. Being disposable, these medical masks, when discarded, generate medical waste.
Also, the wearer of the mask is prone to touch the surface of the mask frequently to adjust his mask or to scratch the itch which contaminates the mask. It is expected that the Nano-coatings on the mask will address the problem by offering a hydrophobic coating on the surface of the masks, preventing it from wetting. It will disinfect the pathogens that come in contact with the nanocoated surface. The nanocoating will be easily scalable, safe, and economical and is highly effective against the COVID-19.
♦ The sol-gel nanotechnology developed a functionalized organic-inorganic hybrid nanocoating based on silica nanoparticles. It is then coupled with a polymer matrix that is hydrophobic and disinfects the pathogenic virus associated with COVID-19 that comes in contact with the surface of the mask.
♦ The medical masks include developed nanocoating and viral disinfection ability and prepare a plan of action for the transfer of technology to industries.
♦ Functionalization of nanoparticles using the sol-gel technology will make the nano-coating hydrophobic.