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Business News/ News / India/  Pune-based start-up 3D prints 'virucidal' mask that kills coronavirus

A Pune-based start-up has combined 3D printing and pharmaceuticals to develop a special 'virucidal' face mask that can neutralise novel coronavirus as it comes in contact with it.

Thincr Technologies, the maker of these masks, coats them in anti-viral agents called virucides that attacks viral particles on interception.

Technology Development Board (TDB), a statutory body under the Department of Science and Technology, had financed the project as part of central government’s initiative to find new solutions to fight against Covid-19. It is also one of the first projects to be selected by the TDB for commercialisation.

Thincr worked with Merck Life Sciences' Nerul facility to develop virucidal coating formulations and then used 3D printing techniques to evenly coat fabric layers with it. This coated layer can be incorporated as an additional layer in N-95 masks, 3-ply masks, simple cloth masks, 3D printed or other plastic cover masks, along with reusable filters. The filters of these reusable masks have also been developed using 3D printing

"The coating has been tested and shown to inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The material used for coating on the mask is a Sodium Olefin Sulfonate based mixture. It is a soap forming agent with hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties. In contact with enveloped viruses, it disrupts the outer membrane of the virus. The ingredients used are stable at room temperature and are widely used in cosmetics," the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement.

Thincr Technologies Founder Director Dr Shitalkumar Zambad said that the masks have been found to have bacterial filtration efficiency higher than 95 per cent. The start-up has started commercial scale production of the the anti-viral masks and even applied for a patent of this product.

So far, 6,000 virucidal masks have been distributed by an NGO to four government hospitals in Nandurbar, Nashik and Bengaluru, for use by healthcare workers and also to a girls’ school and college in Bengaluru, the ministry informed.

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Updated: 14 Jun 2021, 05:18 PM IST
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