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Pune start-up develops masks with additional layer of protection

The project of developing these masks was taken up last year after Thincr Technologies India Pvt Ltd inked a memorandum-of-understanding (MoU) with the Technology Development Board (TDB) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: June 15, 2021 10:10:38 am
Pune start-up develops masks with additional layer of protectionA medical staff relaxes by a window of the Covid ward in Cantonment hospital. (Express photo by Ashish Kale)

A PUNE-BASED start-up has developed 3D-printed face masks, which have been specially coated with antiviral agents to offer additional filtration of viruses like SARS-nCov.

The project of developing these masks was taken up last year after Thincr Technologies India Pvt Ltd inked a memorandum-of-understanding (MoU) with the Technology Development Board (TDB) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

The TDB funded the project as part of the Central government’s efforts to support scientists, industrialists and entrepreneurs to develop and commercialise medical equipments and allied products to fight the pandemic.

“We sensed that the use of face masks will become universal to prevent infection (spread), but realised that most masks were of relatively low quality, which led us to undertake the project to develop cost-effective and more efficient masks,” said the company’s founder-director Shitalkumar Zambad.

Using 3D printing, a coating formulation — a mixture of sodium olefin sulfonate, which has the properties to disrupt the outer membrane of the virus — was evenly coated on the fabric layer. The developers said this layer can be incorporated to any mask – N95, cloth or plastic cover ones.

“The filters of the reusable masks have filtration efficiency of more than 95 percent,” said Zambad. Thus, this mask provides an additional protection beyond what normal filtration mechanisms can achieve, the developers said.

Since last year, the company has distributed 6,000 virucidal masks to hospitals in Nandurbar, Nashik and Bengaluru. The marks are now commercially available across counters.

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