Protection in hospitals and in cases where there has been a societal spread of infectious agents may require not only doctors, but also ordinary people, to have an efficient but affordable mask. Towards this Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine (ACNSMM), researchers Dr. Deepthy Menon, Dr. Binulal Sathy, Dr. Reshmi C. R., and Dr. Shantikumar Nair have come up with this low-cost nanomask.
The mask has been tested using fine droplet mist and is more effective compared to standard surgical masks. The masks are low-cost: Rs. 3-6 Rs/mask compared to Rs.10 for a surgical mask and Rs. 150 for an N95 mask. The innovative membrane can serve as a filter membrane in an N95 mask.
The filter in our nanomask is designed with at least two layers of cloth. Inside the layers of cloth are one or more biodegradable and biocompatible nanofiber-based filter elements integrated to the cloth. The mask also can be rinsed and reused by the same user.