How graphene “wonder material of 21st century” helping healthcare sector in this crucial time of COVID-19 pandemic
Vikas Bardiya, Founder, Nanomatrix Materials highlights the role of graphene in healthcare sector
Today microbial infections represent the major reason for health-care-associated infections (HAIs), hospital-acquired infections, and biomaterials implant failure, however, most of the surfaces of the hospital and other available implantable materials do not hold antimicrobial properties, thus need an antibiotic therapy once the infection occurs.
The fast-evolving of antibiotic-resistant pathogens is making this approach not more effective, leading to the mere solution of device removal and causing devastating consequences for patients. However, the Use of Graphene in biomaterials implants is still in the concept stage and holds a lot of potential.
Graphene and other related materials demonstrated a wide spectrum of antimicrobial activity toward various bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These antimicrobial activities are mainly attributed to the direct physicochemical interaction between germs and microbes, which makes it much more effective than conventional surface disinfectants.
The major areas of application for this can be the removal of microbes from the air and surrounding environment by using these graphene-based technologies in air filtration. This property has proven its significance in the current pandemic situation also. Graphene “the wonder material” can also be used as a universal antimicrobial coating on any surface whether in public places, hospitals, malls, restaurants, etc.
Graphene: Actions against COVID-19
Since the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, one of the major areas of concern is the safety of health and frontline workers thus, providing them high quality of protective, and conformable safety gears is the need of the hour.
To meet the requirement of the time, many researchers around the world came up with various innovative solutions and among those one of the most successful in integrating Graphene into various medical equipment such as masks, surgical gowns, gloves, filters, etc. The coating of Graphene holds immense power which can not only limit the virus transmission of the virus but destroy it within seconds of contact with the fabric.
One such application developed by Nanomatrix Materials which is playing a massive role in dealing with the pandemic is NM G–Tx, a patented Graphene-Silver Technology which is strongly anti-viral and anti-bacterial. The membrane developed by using this proprietary technology is NM Graphene Membrane. This membrane is used in the non-surgical face mask as one of the layers which not only stops the virus but destroys 99% of microbes in seconds that come in contact with the membrane.
When it is tested as per the ISO 18184 protocol, anti-viral testing against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, showed a 99% reduction and kill rate of 99% in just a matter of seconds in contact with the fabric. The applications of this membrane are infinite, it can also be used in air filtration as it also destroys airborne viruses too. Which are present in the surroundings which are present in the surroundings.
Graphene integrated masks
In the ongoing pandemic, fashion masks, community masks, surgical masks, and N95 respirators showed a great efficiency limiting the virus in the current pandemic situation, and even cloth facial coverings over the nose and mouth played a massive role in reducing the spread of the virus.
Most of the masks available in the marketplace today only stop the pathogens and microbes by conventional filtration methods rather than destroying them. These normal masks and respirators do not completely mitigate the risk of contagion as they are susceptible to viral colonization. Most of the masks available today are treated with anti-bacterial treatment on their front cloth, but it does not give any filtration level especially against the virus. Thus, mask protection from contaminated air filtering media lies in antiviral material coatings and treatments.
Various studies have been conducted which evaluate the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 on N95 surfaces showed that the virus is able to survive for up to 72-hours on N95 mask. In many cases, people got infected with Covid-19 disease because they touched the outer layer of their mask where the virus settled. This is the area of concern with every N95 because it only stops, but does not kill the pathogens.
At Nanomatrix Materials, we dug deep into this problem and came up with proprietary anti-viral and anti-bacterial NM Graphene-Silver technology. This NM Graphene-Silver technology can be used as the outer layer and middle layer in any mask thus, making it anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Also, the same has been treated on a non-woven fabric which we call an NM graphene membrane. This has been used in the fashion masks which are for the general public and in N95 respirators that can be used by doctors and front-line workers, giving extra and longer protection to the person as it has a self-sanitizing membrane which means virus sticking on the mask will be self sanitized without any washing.
Graphene integrated air filters
As mentioned above, NM G–Tx, a patented Graphene-Silver Technology can also be used in air filtration as it also destroys airborne viruses too which are present in the surroundings. It is also proven to remove Volatile Organic Compounds from the air. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, found in different products such as paints, wooden varnishes, cleaning products, etc. The concentration of VOCs can go higher than recommended limits in closed public spaces. These VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and skin problems.
Wrapping it up
The main source of SARS-CoV-2 infection is the transmission of droplets released when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales. Viral particles can remain in the air and on the surfaces for a long duration which increases the chances of infection by 50%. These droplets are too heavy to float in the air and rapidly fall down onto the surface. Graphene “a wonder material” can protect you from viruses by killing them rather than just the filtration virus. Many healthcare institutions SIGCURE PHARMACY, M2 Pharmacy, Aakar Enterprises etc have already started using this proprietary solution to combat the deadly pandemic.