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11:16 PM  April 2, 2020

TPU scientists figured out how to extend the medical masks life cycle

© РИА Томск. Таисия ВоронцоваTPU scientists figured out how to extend the medical masks life cycle

TOMSK, Apr 2 – RIA Tomsk. Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) propose to treat medical tissue masks with a drug with nanosilver particles; this will increase the shelf life of masks and their protective properties, the university’s press service said on Thursday.

Earlier it was reported that in the Tomsk region three cases of coronavirus infection were recorded, one patient was already cured. Authorities reported that the supply of medical masks and antiseptics in the region was sufficient for medical facilities, and there was a shortage in retail sales. Eleven companies of the Tomsk region have already launched the production of custom-made protective masks from cotton fabric and gauze; three more organizations plan to start production in the near future.

“In order to increase the shelf life of tissue medical masks, scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University proposed treating them with "Argovit" drug with silver nanoparticles diluted to therapeutic concentrations (1-2%) ... This will preserve the protective properties of masks or respirators for several days, and will increase antiviral protection", - is said in the message.

It is specified that the "Argovit" was developed by TPU scientists together with the specialists of the "Vector-Vita" research and production center (Novosibirsk) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico. This is a 20 percent solution of silver nanoparticle complexes stabilized by polymer molecules. Medicines based on "Argovit" have passed the necessary certification and have long been used in veterinary medicine to treat viral and bacterial diseases in animals.

It is added that polytechnics also offer to organize the sterilization of tissue dressings and medical masks on a pulsed electron accelerator. At existing facilities, up to a thousand masks per shift can be sterilized. In this case, unlike heat and gas treatment, the structure of the fabric will not be destroyed.

“If a special accelerator with a conveyor system is developed, productivity can be increased to 100 000 or more units per shift. It will take up to six months to create such an installation - the period depends on solving issues with the purchase of components”, - is said in the message.

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It was previously reported that an outbreak of pneumonia caused by the new type of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 was recorded in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019. The disease was called COVID-19. On March 11, WHO announced a coronavirus pandemic.

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