Coronavirus pandemic: How this battery-operated mask could up the fight against COVID-19

By: |
July 18, 2021 2:37 PM

Devised by SDSOS Dean Dr. Neetin Desai and post-doctoral fellow Dr. Vrushali Joshi, the mask can be used safely even while using mobile phones or headphones.

The masks are available online for purchase for Rs 800 to Rs 1,000 at present

COVID-19 masks: Ever since the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the way things work last year, masks have become the new norms and basically essential products. And they are now all the more important considering the looming threat of the third wave. At such a critical juncture, Mumbai-based NMIMS University’s Sunandan Divatia School of Science (SDSOS) has developed a reusable mask – the TP 100 – that can be operated by battery, and can provide protection from airborne human pathogens. In a statement, the college said that while regular masks provide protection against aerogel and dust particles, they are not highly effective when it comes to human pathogens.

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Devised by SDSOS Dean Dr. Neetin Desai and post-doctoral fellow Dr. Vrushali Joshi, the mask can be used safely even while using mobile phones or headphones, the statement said, adding that the mask was not only reusable but environment friendly because it can replace 240 regular masks and self-sterilising.

Financial Express Online has learnt from Dean Dr Desai that the mask can be used for a period of up to eight to 10 months, and the battery can last for up to six to eight months after which it can be replaced. The battery is installed inside the mask and the unit inside is separable. The user would be able to remove the outer cover, wash it and reuse it. The outer cover can last up to eight to 10 months, which means that any person stepping out of their home can use this mask daily for up to 8-10 months as long as the outer layer of the mask is washed frequently.

Dr Desai also explained how the mask would be able to tackle pathogens. The battery-operated mask has copper mesh inside it which acts as a purifier as well as a self-sterilizer, and the copper filter has a current of about 3 volts which is minimal and does not harm the human skin. Since most pathogens have a negative charge on them, they are attracted to copper mesh and as soon as they come in contact with the mesh, the virus and bacteria are neutralised.

The masks are available online for purchase for Rs 800 to Rs 1,000 at present, and the technology of the mask has been transferred by SDSOS to Milton Group of Pharma for commercial production. The company has begun large-scale production of the masks and they would be entering the physical market soon, NMIMS said.

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