Go out to the streets and you’ll see masks hanging from people’s chins, necks, ears... After a while people wear masks anywhere but over their nose and mouth. Students of SN Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences studied this phenomenon and have come up with an all-in-one solution that they have patented and which you can now avail of.
“We realised that there are four main reasons why people resist wearing masks,” began Samir Kumar Pal, senior professor, chemical, biological and macromolecular sciences at the JD Block institute. “Keeping a mask on continuously means inhaling the carbon dioxide you exhale and denying the brain fresh oxygen. Over a long time, this makes people tired, dizzy and unable to perform regular work.”
Next comes temperature. “Since our body temperature is higher than room temperature, the mask we exhale into becomes very hot. The moisture released fogs up spectacles the person may be wearing and finally, masks hinder communication as words spoken behind a mask seem unclear and the wearer feels like removing it for clarity.”
As a solution, the students have come up with a mask with an active respirator attached. This is a small unit on the mask that comprises a tiny fan, valve and grill to control air flow. It is attached to a power bank that the wearer keeps in his pocket and when turned on, expels exhaled carbon dioxide out of the mask along with moisture and sweat. “This reduces the temperature in the mask by 7- 10ºC,” said Pal.
Named BoseShield, this mask has an N95 filter but its safety mechanism is more advanced. It ensures that the exhaled air only escapes through a portion of the mask that is padded with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal cloth. “This will trap Covid-19 germs in case the wearer is infected and exhales any out.”
In fact, the wearer’s voice will also flow out smoothly from the mask alongside the air stream, making his words clearer to listeners. “And the cavity in the mask has been designed in a way that allows the phonetic muscles of the face to move without restriction,” said Pal.
The power bank would need to be recharged about once in two days and if the wearer sweats profusely the mask may be washed (after removing the respirator) once a month. The life of the mask, that costs Rs 800 including the power bank, would be about five years.
While killing germs, regular sanitisers are also blamed for removing moisture from our hands. “This leads to cracks and leaves the door open to bacteria and fungi. We have used nano technology and developed a sanitiser that uses nano particles with omega 9. This means that besides retaining moisture in the skin, the sanitiser also addresses common skin problems of Indians like daad (ringworm) and eczema,” said Paul.
The scientist recommends four puffs of Bosetizer to be rubbed from the palms all the way up to the elbows. “Even if an infected person coughs on your hand after this, the germs will be killed. You are ensured protection for up to 40 minutes,” said Pal, a resident of Purbachal Cluster X. His team comprised PhD students Animesh Halder, Soumendra Singh, Riya Ghosh, Neha Bhattacharya and Aniruddha Adhikari. A 100ml bottle of this sanitiser costs Rs 110.
Once the products were ready and patented, National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) brokered a deal between the institute and a private company Paulmech Infrastructure.
“A scientist’s job is not just to conduct experiments but also to work for people and with these products we have achieved that goal. But technology has no value unless marketed and in this aspect NRDC has been a huge help,” said Samit Kumar Ray, director of the institute, at the launch of the products on November 25 at the CII auditorium, City Centre.
Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya launched the products as well as their websites Bosetizer.com and BoseShield.com through which they will be sold. “The world is going through a crisis now and there is no room for complacency. We shall support products like this and together overcome the challenges,” Bhattacharya said.
“We have paid a licence fee for this technology and will now be selling these items across the world. Nigeria, the UK and Canada have already shown interest, besides different states of India. The institute will receive a royalty percentage on the sales,” said Shanti Ranjan Paul, director of Paulmech Infrastructre and a resident of CL Block.
The products will be available across the city soon and is now available on e-commerce websites. “The lockdown had initially posed some problems. The fan in the mask, for instance, had to be imported from Taiwan. Now we are looking for local manufacturers,” said Paul, whose company would thus far deal with rubber items.
A host of other academicians attended the launch. “Our GE Block institute has been sending teams to slums of Salt Lake and New Town to conduct medical camps all through the lockdown and it would have been great had we known about and used these masks and sanitisers,” said Subhas Singh, director, National Institute of Homeopathy, who was one of the guests present.
Basics of Bosetizer
⚫ Ensures moisture is retained in the skin upon application
⚫ Also addresses common skin problems of Indians like daad (ringworm) and eczema
⚫ Apply four puffs and rub from the palms all the way up to the elbows.
⚫ Even if an infected person coughs on your hand after this, the germs will be killed. You are ensured protection for up to 40 minutes.