Virus deactivating face mask from Indian techie new hope in COVID fight

Virus deactivating face mask from Indian techie new hope in COVID fight

Swiss-hygiene technology provider Livinguard Technologies has rolled out the world’s first virus deactivating face mask in India. The anti-microbial mask that claimed to be effective in not only giving protection from the virus but also destroying SARS-CoV-2.  

According to the inventor Sanjeev Swamy, an Indian technocrat and science entrepreneur, this mask can directly inactivate bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 with 99.9% efficacy.

“While most masks available across counters or open markets are preventive in nature, Livinguard face masks are protective and prevent bacteria and viruses from spreading, benefiting both self and others in close proximity,” Swamy said in an interview with Future Medicine.      

Researchers from Freie Universitat Berlin at the Institute for Animal Hygiene and Environmental Health have demonstrated that textiles treated with Livinguard technology can reduce very high amounts of SARS-CoV-2 particles by more than 99.9% within a few hours.

“The textiles in these masks can thus continuously inactivate the exhaled viruses and can make handling these masks even safer overall,” says Professor Uwe Rösler. “In addition, such textiles could also help to reduce hygienic issues in other general and medical areas, even beyond COVID-19,” said Rosler.  

Swamy, who is also the Founder & CEO of Livinguard Technologies, said that the unique characteristics of Livinguard masks will provide users with an unprecedented level of security.  

The principle underlying this technology, according to Livinguard, is empowering the textile surface with a strong positive charge. When microbes come in contact with fabric, the microbial cell which is negatively charged is destroyed leading to permanent destruction of the microorganism. Unlike heavy metal-based solutions, such as silver, zinc and copper, this novel technology has been found to be safe for both skin and lungs.

Moreover, it also allows users to reuse the mask up to 210 times with no compromise on safety or efficacy. This way, it minimises waste and uses resources efficiently, thereby offering a unique solution for an overheated supply chain.

The mask comprises 3 layers that give 5 levels of protection. This patented Tripellent technology on the outer layer offers 3 levels of protection.  The antiviral technology bonded into the fabric itself and the antiviral and repellent coating is also there on the inside of the fabric. Non-woven industry-standard filters in the middle layer channels viruses for destruction to the outer or inner layers. Sandwiched between disinfecting fabrics, it is protected from biological contamination, allowing the mask to be safely washed and reused. Denser than the outer layer, and also treated with Livinguard Antiviral Technology, the fabric of the inner layer provides powerful inactivation of coronavirus. Odour free and quick-drying with low humidity, the soft and stretchy fabric gives a comfortable fit for the mouth and nose. This specially treated fabric has 36 billion positive charges per cm2.

The Livinguard mask can be washed up to 30 times with undiminished efficacy of its protective properties. If used daily and washed weekly under normal usage conditions, the mask can be used for 6 months, effectively replacing the need for single-use masks. The mask can be used for extended periods and reused before washing because the fabric covering the filter media continuously destroys microorganisms upon contact. This significantly diminishes the risk of transferring them to the user and to other surfaces. The mask is proven to be non-toxic and safe for use, the company stated.

“This mask is already available in several markets and Fine Hygienic Holding in the Middle East is one of our biggest users at present. It is also available across Singapore, Japan, Germany and China. I am confident that we will have similar success in India too,” Swamy said while launching the mask in India.  

Renowned scientist and former head of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Dr Raghunath Mashelkar, called this virus deactivating technology in the mask a game-changer.

“This scientific breakthrough of deactivating SARS-COV-2 virus on contact with the mask, authenticated fully by world’s top universities, is a global game-changer. Every effort should be made so that every Indian benefit from this unprecedented paradigm shift in this provision of safety, security and sustainability, going far beyond the current pandemic,” Mashelkar said while launching this hi-tech mask in India.

“Livinguard’s current focus is to apply this technology to solutions that lessen the health risk and economic impact of the crisis by enabling people to protect themselves, return to work, and take back their lives. Since our product is washable and reusable, and mostly made from cotton, the mask is eco-friendly and sustainable. Our research shows that if a million people use one reusable Livinguard mask 210 times, we can save 36,000 tonnes of waste. It is also cheaper than a regular mask because one will need 210 masks to compare with one of ours,” said Swamy.