Professors at the Panjab University have developed an affordable antimicrobial nano-coatings for masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) kits for healthcare workers to prevent them from COVID-19 infection.
Professor Surinder Kumar Mehta of the Department of Chemistry and Associate Professor Harinder Pal Kang, UCIM, have developed the non-toxic coatings that kills microbes like the novel coronavirus on the outer surfaces of masks. The project has also been submitted to DST, Ministry of Technology for extensive research.
Nano-Copper ensures limited penetration and accumulation of microbial contaminants on coated surfaces. The coating also has the potential to reduce the risk of secondary infection by limiting the transmission of the microbes, said Professor Mehta. The spray coating can protect surfaces from Coronavirus for up to 45 days, he added.
"The innovation is affordable. Copper being relatively inexpensive than silver and titanium. Poor people can reap the benefit of this technology. It can be spray/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 masks/PPEs and easy containment of the microbes," he said.
Following performance and clinical tests, the coating will be made available for commercial purchase in times to come. The technology has been developed with the support of a Chandigarh-based Private Technology-Research company, Ceyone Consultants LLP.
Over 1,700 cases linked to Coronavirus have been reported in Punjab. Twenty-nine people have died in the state due to the infection so far.