N95 like mask by IISc researchers
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 N95-like mask by IISc researchers 

Two researchers from IISc, Bengaluru claim to have developed a low-cost virucidal composite mask that provides the exact same level of protection as N95 masks that remain in short supply.

Associate professors Suryasarathi Bose and Kaushik Chatterjee three Ph.D. students were the manufacturers of the mask. They say that the masks’ three-layer design provides greater protection.

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 N95-like mask by IISc researchers 
The mask’s three-layer design offers protection from bacterial viral agents. IISc

To deflect water droplets containing the viruses, the outer layer of the mask is made from polyester fabric with hydrophobic properties, the middle nanofibrous membrane layer is a fine mesh of a positively charged polymer that kills bacterial viral agents. For the users comfort the inner layer is made of cotton.

The team said they were persuaded to take up the project when clinicians at CMC Vellore sought help in getting a mask with high-efficacy and low cost.

Dr. Chatterjee stated, “They suggested that we check out the issue”. The masks readily available in the market are either are inefficient in lowering viral transmission or expensive.

Dr. Bose said, “Inexpensive as well as efficiency was our primary concern”. The materials costs of the mask as per their estimates are Rs 22 each.

Can be used for 8 hours

Dr. Bose added, the mask, developed to deal with high viral exposure, can be used for 8 hours before it would certainly require UV sanitization.

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The IISc team additionally wishes that along with healthcare workers, the masks will help the deficit in mask availability amongst the general public. Dr. Bose added, “With a little bit of alteration, we wish that this mask can be geared for public usage”. “Many poor people can be seen without masks. They (just) wear surgical masks or cover their face using cloths”.

The team stated it will certainly transfer the technology to an interested manufacturer.

Author: Sruthi S