A Pune-based start-up firm has come up with 3D-printed masks coated with anti-viral agents. The firm Thincr Technologies India Private Limited said the mask is more effective than N-95, 3-ply and cloth masks. An integration of 3D printing and pharmaceuticals has resulted in a novel type of mask which attacks the virus when viral particles come in contact with it. The masks are coated with anti-viral agents known otherwise as virucides. The virucidal mask project is among the earliest projects to have been selected for commercialization, by Technology Development Board, a statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology.
The project received financial support from TDB as part of its search for novel solutions to fight COVID-19, in May 2020. Founder Director Dr. Shitalkumar Zambad said, most masks which were then available and within the reach of common people were homemade and of relatively low quality. Dr Zambad Saïd It is this need for high-quality masks which led to undertake a project to develop and commercialize cost-effective and more efficient virucidal coated masks, as a better approach to reduce the spread of infection.
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.