IIT-Guwahati develops coating for cloth masks for better COVID protection
A team of researchers of Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG) has developed a coating to modify ordinary cloth or silk masks for better protection against aerosol-driven infections like COVID-19, the premier institute said.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, N95 masks or double masking protect people to a great extent from Coronavirus, but the drawback is that people undergo suffocation after wearing them for a long time.
Besides, the N95 masks are costly and thus unaffordable to a large section of the population.
"To address these challenges and to bring in a safer, economical, and comfortable alternative, the researchers of IIT-Guwahati have developed a coating material to modify the easily-available cloth mask into a hydrophobic mask to repel virus-laden droplets and avoid breathing difficulties even when worn for a longer period," a press release said.
Another advantage is that these masks are versatile and can be used with other additives such as antibacterial nanomaterial for additional protection against viruses, it said.
The research team was led by Prof Arun Chattopadhyay, Department of Chemistry and Centre for Nanotechnology, and Dr. Partho S G Pattader, Department of Chemical Engineering, it added.