Guwahati, April 13 (IANS) Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT-G) on Monday said its researchers have developed affordable antimicrobial (antiviral/antibacterial) spray-based coating for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) along with 3D-printed ‘Ear Guard for comfortable use of face masks by healthcare workers.
PPE that are being used are designed to protect the wearer from infectious microbes/aqueous virus droplets acting as a barrier.
The research group developed an affordable antimicrobial (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.
According to the research team, the coating has the potential to reduce the risk of secondary infection by limiting the transmission of the microbes.
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 PPEs and easy containment of the microbes.
"Effective yet affordable technologies are the need of the hour for India. We at IITG under the leadership of our Director, Professor T.G. Sitharam, are committed to contributing to the nation's immediate need at this hour of COVID-19 crisis," said Dr Biman B. Mandal, Professor, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Guwahati.
The research team also developed 3D-printed ‘Ear Guard' prototype for face masks.
The ergonomic design of the guard holds the face mask strap in a place without giving pressure to the ear. Therefore, masks can be worn effortlessly for hours without pain or discomfort to the wearer.
Using 3D printers, these ‘Ear Guards' are being made in a free size to fit all, the researchers said.