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Cost effective nano coating of face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic
Face masks are widely used bymedical workers as part of droplet precautions whencaring for patients with respiratory infections. It wouldbe reasonable to suggest vulnerable individuals avoidcrowded areas and use surgical face masks rationallywhen exposed to high-risk areas.As evidence suggestsCOVID-19 could be transmitted before symptom onset,community transmission might be reduced if everyone,including people who have been infected but areasymptomatic and contagious, wear face masks.
Recommendations on face masks vary across countriesand we have seen that the use of masks increasessubstantially once local epidemics begin, in community settings. This increase inuse of face masks by the general public exacerbatesthe global supply shortage of face masks, with pricessoaring, and risks supply constraints to frontline healthcare professionals. As a response, a few countries banned exportation of facemasks to priorities local demand. WHO called for a 40%increase in the production of protective equipment,including face masks. Meanwhile, health authorities should optimize face mask distribution to priorities the needs of frontline health-care workers and the most vulnerable populations in communities who are more susceptible to infection and mortality if infected, including older adults and people with underlying health conditions.
To make the face mask more cost efficient as well as antibacterial, a team of scientists is developing a protective silver nano-coating that would greatly help in making medicated masks and medical wear for fighting COVID-19.Researchers developed the coating using a combination of common polymers such as Polyphenylene Ether (PPE)and nano silver colloidal suspension.
Silver nano dispersion (AgNPs) is well-known to exhibit a strong antimicrobial activity against various microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi due to its smaller in size and large surface area. Silver nano dispersion is also widely used as anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. Thus, the combination of anti-microbial polymer and silver nanodispersion is expected to provide a synergistic antiviral effect and these materials used would make it a cost-effective solution.