Why in news?
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has approved support for large scale production of organic-Inorganic hybrid nanocoating for disposable masks.
Why is this Nanocoating needed?
- The N95 masks available in the market are capable of filtering out all types of particles, including viruses and bacteria, but they are expensive and need prior training as standard practice before using it.
- The wearer of the mask is prone to touch the surface of the mask frequently to adjust his mask or to scratch the itch. Due to this, the mask gets contaminated.
- These aspects have created a pressing need for innovative solutions that can mitigate the existing concerns of disposable medical masks.
How does Nanocoating help?
Nanocoatings could address this problem by offering a hydrophobic coating on the surface of the masks, preventing it from wetting, and will disinfect the pathogens that may come in contact with the nanocoated surface.
- Functionalization of nanoparticles using the sol-gel technology by the researchers will make the nanocoating hydrophobic, which effectively repels water/moisture from the surface of the mask.
- Further, the addition of a suitable polymer will increase the virucidal properties of the hydrophobic nanocoating.
- Therefore, by using sol-gel technology, a hybrid organic-inorganic silica-based nanocoating coupled with a proprietary polymer will be developed that will make the masks reusable and non-toxic.
- The nanocoating will be easily scalable, safe, and economical while being highly effective against the COVID-19.