Experts at the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) are pondering to come up with an alternative of the N95 masks. It aims to facilitate the public with the provision of masks at a low cost.
Professor Zeeshan Khatri of the MUET textile engineering department told Pak Revenue, “We are using nanofiber membranes for filtration in the face mask. It can filter up to 95% of bacteria or viruses and prevents potential viral transmission.”
A regular face mask consists of up to three layers of flat or plated cloth whereas, this mask would contain four layers i.e. nonwoven skincare fabric, nanofiber membrane, nonwoven fabric, and anti-splash coating.
Prof Khatri has initiated a startup, NanoClo and happen to sell more than 13,000 masks to health practitioners just in one month.
The machine used to prepare the nanofibers is complex as well expensive so, they invented their own machine by investing a relatively smaller amount. At the Hala Naka unit the nanofibre membrane is made, while the stitching is done at a garment factory in Hyderabad that already produces surgical masks and gowns. The current capacity for daily production is 1,000 masks, though they are playing to increase it to 5,000 soon.
Unlike ordinary surgical masks, nanoCLO mask prevents potential viral transmission to/from others, possesses Nano filtration, and gives 95% filtration performance.
The startup has not yet applied for approval from the Pakistan Council for Science and Industrial Research, but mask samples have been sent for testing to the Lahore TTI laboratory and the Karachi SGS laboratory.