A Kelowna researcher has developed a breakthrough treatment for face masks that’s up to 99 per cent effective in reducing the transmission of viruses and bacteria.
Seyyedarash Haddadi is a post-doctoral fellow at the UBC Okanagan School of Engineering. Prior to the pandemic, Haddadi was studying anti-erosion coatings for metal surfaces. When the pandemic hit, he pivoted to apply his research in graphene towards virus prevention.
The coating is made of graphene oxide and silver. Just one gram of the coating can be applied to 300 face masks, making it a cost-effective solution. No solvents or toxic chemicals are added to the compound. The coating has received Health Canada approval and will soon be applied to millions of cloth face masks sold worldwide.
Haddadi partnered with Zentek, an Ontario-based company that specializes in the commercialization of nanomaterials, to develop the coating marketed under the name ZenGuard. The first commercial sale of the coating was made to Ontario-based mask manufacturer TreborRX Corp earlier this year.
Zentek is also investing $6 million to develop its own manufacturing capacity to produce enough coating for up to 800 million antimicrobial face masks per month by early next year.
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