A class XI student from Bengal’s Purba (East) Bardhaman district has come up with a mask that may be a game-changer in the treatment of Covid-19 patients, and her design been shortlisted in a national competition.
Digantika Bose, a student of Vidyasagar Smriti Vidyamandir Branch 2 in Memari, has come up with a ‘Air Providing and Virus Destroying Mask’ that took her seven days to develop. After series of tests, the Ministry of Science and Technology has asked for the student’s permission to take forward her innovation in the war against the virus.
Bose had submitted her mask design in the Challenge Covid-19 Competition (C3) organised by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF). The autonomous body, which shortlisted her work, sought her “plan/proposal so the workable product could be taken to the masses”, and Bose said she has agreed to it.
Bose has always being a science and technology enthusiast. When the nationwide lockdown was announced, and the student learnt that schools would be closed, Bose decided to spend her time developing a solution that would help patients but also medical professionals.
How does this mask work?
The mask is divided into two parts. The first part has two one-way valves and the second part has two reservoir-containers.
During inhalation, dust particles and harmful elements are trapped in water particles and the lipid proteins of the virus are destroyed. A one-way valve enables clean air to enter the patient’s lungs.
When a patient exhales again, the air exits through another one-way valve and enters another reservoir-container in which the lipid protein of the virus is broken down to destroy it.
According to Bose, if a Covid-19 patient uses this mask, droplets exhaled will no longer contain the virus.
How did she suddenly come up with the plan?
Bose said that she has been obsessed with various scientific discoveries from an early age. The 17-year-old girl has received awards in the past, and even holds a patent.
“The day the lockdown was announced. I found out that there will be no test. This has been on my mind ever since. I have also done special studies for this. It took seven or eight days. I saw that everyone is walking around wearing ordinary masks. However, it does not prevent the virus, so, I thought to develop something effective,” she said.
After turning her home into a laboratory, the teenager came up with the prototype. Bose said that three other projects discovered by her in response to the Covid-19 pandemic are being tested in various departments of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
“I have received multiple state awards. But this feeling is completely different. I am overwhelmed,” the young girl said about her latest creation.
“This mask will work in the coronavirus pandemic in the country. I feel very good. This recognition from the Union Ministry of Technology has given me more encouragement and boost. I am very happy for being able to do something for my country,” Bose said.