NITK startup to make nanoparticle-coated faceshields

NITK startup manufactures nanoparticle-coated faceshields

Nanoparticle-coated faceshields. DH Photo

A new startup company —Apaha Tech Solutions LLP— incubated at NITK Science and Technology Entrepreneur's Park (STEP), started production of Reusable Transparent Faceshields which are coated with silver nanoparticles for extra safety. This modified product is in continuation with the face shields which were developed by NITK during April 2020.

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According to Dr Arun M Isloor, a professor in the Department of Chemistry at  NITK and partner of this startup company, this is the first such reported commercial product, where silver nanoparticles are coated on the bands of a faceshield to give antimicrobial property. This modified faceshield also has a strip of spongy layer to give cushioning effect thereby being highly comfortable even after wearing it for three to four hours. These shields can be reused by wiping both surfaces with soap solution using a cotton swab.

According to Dr Isloor, his intention to commercialise this product is not to fulfill the demands of the public at an affordable price.

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“Moreover I want to show our students and youngsters that entrepreneurship is possible under any circumstances and India too can produce any products at an affordable price under Make in India. A portion of money collected from sales will be given to NITK as royalty, another part of the fund would be donated to the Indian Army Fund and a part to the manpower involved in its manufacturing.”

This startup was started by the faculty of NITK as per the central government's Startup policy. Its main objective is water purification by innovative technologies. To join the battle against Covid-19, it is now also producing faceshields.

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These faceshields are made of 100 micron thick transparent polyester sheet, which covers about 180 degrees of frontal portion of the head, covering mouth, eyes and nose, thereby giving protection against any droplets from an infected person. The band is made of styrofoam, which is more comfortable than elastic.

The Startup has already received orders from Kerala, Ballari, Bengaluru, and other places.