An IIT Delhi startup ‘Nano safe Solutions’ has launched an antimicrobial and washable face mask ‘Nsafe’, which is reusable up to 50 launderings, thus greatly cutting down the cost of use on May 6, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an acute shortage of face masks, which is an important tool to contain transmission from one person to another. Since every individual has been mandated to use a face mask regularly, single-use masks are not a cost-effective solution for everyone.

The team consists of Anasuya Roy, an IIT Delhi alumnus, founder, and CEO of Nanosafe Solutions Pvt Ltd and professor Mangala Joshi, department of textile and fiber engineering, IIT Delhi and also founder and director of the startup.

NSafe mask is a highly engineered triple-layered product consisting of an inner hydrophilic layer for comfort, the middle layer having antimicrobial activity, and outermost layer having water and oil repellent behavior.

NSafe mask has 99.2% bacterial filtration efficiency (at 3 microns) and complies with ASTM standards of breathability and splash resistance. The mask is extremely comfortable and breathable. Elastic band in the chin region and wire in the nose region provides an adequate fit of the mask to the wearer.

Joshi, said: “We believe this is the first fabric-based antimicrobial face mask launched in India, which is washable and reusable along with very high Bacterial Filtration Efficiency as tested according to ASTM standards. It is engineered to have very good breathability and comfort.”

Roy added, “The mask has been designed to maximize durability and dimensional stability so that the mask can be reused 50 times. Effective reusability is an important factor as single-use masks will cause huge disposal issues”.

NSafe mask enhances protection to the wearer through three different mechanisms: mechanical filtration, antimicrobial decontamination, and repulsion of aerosol droplets.

NSafe masks are dry-cleaned before packaging and packaged under hygienic conditions. After each usage (approximately 8-9 hours), the mask has to be hand-washed in cold water with mild detergent and dried thoroughly in the sunlight. After 50 usages, the mask has to be disposed off in a sealed polyethylene bag and put in the recyclable waste bin. The startup has started manufacturing the masks.

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