A reusable face mask has been created by the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT). Two distinct hydrophobic layers are placed between two textile layers of the SaanS mask. It’s a crucial adjuvant in the production of COVID-19-fighting Covaxin. CF has enlisted the services of four non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to provide seed financing, training, and marketing assistance. Vendors supplying cotton layers to help weavers are supported by Project SaanS. To date, 3.5 lakh masks have been produced (at a cost of $30 each). Rumana Hamied is a writer.
- A reusable face mask has been created by the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT)
- Two distinct hydrophobic layers are placed between two textile layers of the SaanS mask.
- It’s a crucial adjuvant in the production of COVID-19-fighting Covaxin.
- To date, 3.5 lakh masks have been produced (at a cost of $30 each).
- Rumana Hamied is a writer and managing trustee of the Cipla Foundation, which has been granted a patent by IICT for the mask.
- She is also the founder of the non-governmental organization, Project Saan S, which provides seed financing, training, and marketing assistance.
Two distinct hydrophobic layers are placed between two textile layers of the SaanS mask.
The work of the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) on repurposing pharmaceuticals and developing the crucial adjuvant for developing an indigenous COVID-19 vaccine is well known. Aside from this, the leading research organization has been working on a more fundamental level to develop a scientific, effective, and pleasant face mask.
Face masks are the first line of defense against COVID, and while there are many different types of face masks on the market, such as surgical, cloth, N-95s, and so on, the four-layered cotton cloth mask developed by scientists here is as good as it gets because it was developed with a lot of scientific input. “Our director, S. Chandrasekhar, proposed building a protective and reusable face mask to replace single-use masks in order to minimize pollution last March. “With two separate hydrophobic layers sandwiched between two textile layers, we had the SaanS mask ready in two months,” says senior principal scientist S. Sridhar.
His team employed the hydrophobic ‘polyethylene terephthalate’ layer removed from worn membrane modules as the second layer to reject respiratory droplets carrying the virus, with the first layer being 100 percent cotton, based on their two-decade experience with membrane science and technology.
The nonwoven hydrophobic polypropylene barrier with a high contact angle of 120 degrees is the next crucial layer, which creates minimum critical pressure as a barrier and keeps aqueous aerosols out of the human respiratory system. According to him, the first and last textile layers give tight porosity and comfort to the wearer.
“Our reusable mask is made from scientifically proven materials that prevent small particles, aerosols, dangerous microorganisms, and other airborne pollutants such as pollen grains from entering, while simultaneously providing excellent air permeability and comfort. Our membrane laboratory put the masks through rigorous testing protocols,” say senior principal scientists Pradosh Chakraborti and M. Chandrasekharam.
These have passed air and water permeability tests, candle extinguishing tests, particulate matter filtering efficiency tests, and water holdup duration tests. “A decent mask should be able to contain 10 ml water for a minute and not be able to extinguish a candle flame from two feet away. Dr. Sridhar states that ‘SaanS’ masks may endure up to 30 washes before needing to be replaced.
When Cipla Foundation (CF) got on board, after delivering the in-house produced masks free to frontline workers, IICT scientists passed the technology to a startup and voluntary organizations, ensuring that 1 lakh masks are distributed free in villages, schools, and hospitals across Telangana.
HelpAge India (Bihar and Puducherry), Ambuja Cement Foundation (Himachal Pradesh), Manndeshi Foundation (Pune), Halo Medical Foundation (Pune), and Divya Disha (Hyderabad) were the first production partners, and CF enlisted the help of HelpAge India (Bihar and Puducherry), Ambuja Cement Foundation (Himachal Pradesh), Manndeshi Foundation (Pune), Halo Medical Foundation (Pune),
“To provide livelihood prospects for self-help groups, we provide intensive online and hands-on training on all areas of mask creation. Weavers will profit from Project SaanS’ sponsorship of vendors who provide tight porous cotton layers. “To date, we’ve manufactured 3.5 lakh masks,” the scientist continues.
CF managing trustee Rumana Hamied previously stated that four NGOs had earned a total of 6.5 lakh ($30 each) and that they are willing to assist others with seed cash, training, and marketing assistance. The product has previously been granted a patent by IICT.