DBT-inStem develops germicidal-coated face mask to kill bacteria and viruses

Germicidal-coated G99 antiviral face masks can kill 99.99 percent of viruses and bacteria including SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus upon contact. A pack of two masks is priced at Rs 399.

Germicidal-coated fabric technology termed G-Fab, used in facemasks to kill viruses and bacteria including COVID-19 virus upon contact, is now available in the market across India. The technology has been developed by Dr Praveen Vemula and his team at the DBT-Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine (DBT-inStem).

Speaking with YourStory, Dr Praveen said that G99 antiviral face masks, using the germicidal-coated fabric, are already available for purchase online on Van Heusen’s ecommerce site and will be available for sale offline though its stores within one week. According to the ecommerce website, a pack of two masks is priced at Rs 399.

G99 Antiviral Face Mask. [Image Credit: Dr Praveen Vemula]

“In the germicidal-coated fabric, the molecules are permanently stuck to the mask which will protect people from viruses and bacteria. One mask can be washed and reused for a minimum of 40 times,” Dr Praveen adds.

The institute had developed this technology earlier this year to help people stay safe against a range of microbes including SAR-CoV-2 and influenza virus (H1N1 flu).

“G-fab technology has shown a 99.99 percent kill rate against a wide range of viruses, including COVID-19 causing coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and influenza virus (H1N1 flu) and against various harmful bacteria, including gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria,” inStem revealed in its 2019-2020 annual report.

According to the report, the germicidal chemical has the ability to rupture the membrane of bacteria and enveloped viruses, thereby adding an extra layer of protection of masks and PPEs.

DBT-inStem also said that it is providing a non-exclusive licence to Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) incubated, Tirupur-based startup Color Threads for commercialising the technology.

Apart from the masks, Dr Praveen also revealed that the institute will also be launching garments including T-shirts, track pants etc made out of the germicidal-coated fabric to protect people from microbes. The G-Fab garments will be launched in January 2021, via Van Heusen, he added.

Edited by Kanishk Singh