Can a mask you are wearing, kill the virus in seconds?

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According to a team of young entrepreneurs in India, the answer is a Yes. The team of researchers from a tech-startup Nanomatrix Materials has developed a Graphene based nanomaterial composite and textile treatment process that makes any kind of textile anti-viral and anti-bacterial.

Nanomatrix Materials Pvt. Ltd. (NM) is a Jaipur, based nanotech company has developed a number of advanced nano material solutions for different applications. One such product the company came up with is NMG–Tx, a Patented Graphene-silver Technology which is strongly anti-viral and anti-bacterial. The membranes developed by using this nano composite can be used in face masks including N95 and garment based masks. Most available N95 masks stop the virus, but by using NM Membranes in N95 as one of the layers can, not only stop, but also destroys viruses instantly. These membranes can also be used in air filtration. The nano composite can also be applied on any kind of textile making the entire attire anti-microbial.

The company says that using this patented technology, it has managed to create masks and protective textile equipment that have proven effective in killing of virus, bacteria and fungus. Now the same material could also be beneficial to reduce the transmission of deadly viruses and could be effective in helping to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The process of treatment results in nano-coating of Graphene-silver nanocomposite on the textile fibers. Graphene’s hydrophobicity limits the adhesion and growth of microbes on the surface of fabrics. The atomically sharp edges of graphene act as nano-knives and damage the outer wall of microbes. On the other hand, silver nanoparticles produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) in oxidative conditions, which have the ability to attack other enzymes and proteins leading to irreversible damages to the genetic material of viruses and bacteria. The incorporation of graphene in these textiles as coatings improves the conductivity resulting in anti-static properties.

We have demonstrated clear virucidal and bactericidal activity against a broad spectrum of infections in laboratory tests,” he said. Testing at the government Certified laboratories showed 99.9999% (7 log reductions) of bacteria and 99.5% reduction in viral counts. Anti-viral testing against the Covid-19 virus, which is the cause of the current pandemic, showed a 99.57% reduction in virus’ kill rate in just 15 seconds. These test works are done at NABL certified laboratories.

The NMG – Tx is a non-alcoholic solution, which can be applied on any kind of textile without changing the conventional production methods. The use of currently available disinfectants to control microbes may lead to the development of strains resistant to the chemical substance applied. The Graphene-Silver Technology could be used as an alternative anti-biofilm agent without the adverse effects of microbial resistance, more frequently attributed to antibiotics, disinfectants and other conventional agents. Most importantly unlike common disinfectants this coating doesn’t lose its activity with time because of its unique nano-architectural properties.