COVID-19 has been circulating across the world for over a year and a half, resulting in massive losses. One of the ways in which scientists are trying to fight the virus is by creating antiviral fabrics.
Antiviral fabrics are exactly what their name suggests. They are designed to kill viruses that come into contact with it and thus, have an important role in preventing the spread of infectious illnesses. Let’s take a look at what this technology is all about.
What are antiviral fabrics?
Under experimental circumstances, antiviral textiles were treated with a unique biopolysaccharide substance and were able to kill 99% of the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2).
This specially developed fabric, which is now being utilised to mass-produce face masks and other personal protective equipment, can provide long-term and efficient protection against COVID-19 viral infection.
Antimicrobial vs antibacterial fabric: What’s the difference?
Antibacterial products either inhibit the formation of bacteria like E. coli and MRSA or kill germs that are already present.
Antimicrobials, on the other hand, prevent and kill not just bacteria but also fungus, parasites, algae, dust mites, and certain viruses.
Antimicrobial compounds’ broad spectrum efficacy makes them ideal for usage in hygiene-sensitive areas including schools, hospitals, and commercial kitchens.
Thus, antibacterial fabrics only kill bacteria and antimicrobial fabrics in taken to the next step in which they continuously prevent the growth of microbes on surfaces for a longer period of time.
How do these fabrics work?
Here’s how antiviral fabrics work to protect you from potentially harmful pathogens:
Firstly, the antiviral fabric captures the virus. Antiviral textiles feature positively charged virus binding sites that are imitated by active silver and titanium.
These sites attract negatively charged sulphur groups in viral and bacterial glycoprotein layers. Hence, microbes are caught and immobilized at these active binding sites when they come into touch with them.
Inactivate and destroy
The second step involves the inactivation of the virus. The virus’s glycoprotein layers are disrupted by the positive-negative counteraction, rendering it inactive.
Additional technology aids in the depletion of cholesterol in the virus membrane. Both of these processes work together to quickly kill enclosed viruses, including coronaviruses.
Ongoing protection against viruses and other dangerous microorganisms is provided by antiviral fabrics by the continuous repetition of steps 1 and 2.
Antiviral fabric treatment for textiles
One of the most promising fields of protective textiles is antiviral textiles. In the realm of health and hygiene, antiviral fabrics are crucial. When a pandemic occurs, they become an integral part of our daily lives.
Viruses are believed to be in the middle of the living and nonliving worlds, and they require a host to multiply. As a result, a virus will be unable to reproduce on a textile surface. However, textiles can function as an active medium for viral transmission.
Virus transmission through textiles can be limited by frequent cleaning or disposal of infected textiles. The second option is to imbue fabrics with anti-viral qualities. A typical textile fabric does not contain antiviral characteristics, however, appropriate components can be included in textiles to make them antiviral.
What’s the difference between normal and antiviral face masks?
Normal face masks are made out of thin disposable tissue and fleece and are used by physicians and helpers to prevent germs and viruses from infecting their patients on operating tables.
When a person wearing a normal face mask coughs or sneezes, the mask catches the majority of the droplets from the mouth and throat.
However, an antiviral face mask immediately works to inhibit viral activity by causing structural damage to the virus’s surface protein or morphological changes in the viral cells.
When the viral cells are damaged, they are unable to replicate and propagate, thereby reducing infection rates.
Therefore, it has been noted that while a normal face mask helps prevent the entry of viruses into the mouth-nasal cavities, an antiviral face mask goes one step beyond. It not just prevents their entry but also works towards killing these germs.
Antiviral fabric clothing
Besides face mask, antiviral fabric is also fast becoming part of the new normal. They work the same way antiviral face mask do, capturing and destroying viruses before it has the chance to spread.
Does an antiviral fabric work against Covid-19?
Yes, an antiviral fabric is said to have a 99% effectiveness against SARS CoV-2, the Covid-19 strain that started the pandemic.
Where to buy antiviral fabric face masks and clothing?
You can purchase antiviral fabric face masks at ProXMask. Our antiviral face masks help kill 99.99% of the coronavirus, including both Delta and Omicron variants. Our masks are made with the best textile technology, which is the HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03 technology and remains effective even after 60 washes.
This is an intelligent Swiss textile technology that is added to the fabric during the final stage of the textile manufacturing process.
The vesicle technology depletes the viral membrane thus silver can work more efficiently and rapidly to attack the core of the virus.
As for antivral clothing, our range antiviral fabric apparel include activewear that can be worn when you’re out and about, providing you with an extra layer of protection against the coronavirus.
In addition to the minimalist, timeless design, our collection of antiviral clothes are:
- Water repellent so that you do not have to worry about infectious water droplets
- Breathable so that adequate air can flow in and out of the fabric
- Quick wicking so that moisture evaporates quickly from the fabric
- Smart cooling with temperature control
- Stretchable for your comfort
- Durable so that it stays in shape even after numerous washes
- Skin friendly to ensure a soft and smooth touch for the wearer
At the end of the day, it doesn’t hurt to have a second barrier against the coronavirus. An antiviral mask is effective against the virus as discussed earlier. So, stay safe, and put on a ProXMask the next time you leave your house.
The article is a part of our comprehensive series on “Face mask: Preventing the spread of Covid-19”
Yii Change Bong
Medical Officer, Proxmask
Dr Yii Change Bong is an occupational health doctor with demonstrated experience working with the Ministry of Health, Malaysia.
Having worked as a Medical Officer in Hospital Umum Sarawak and Sarawak General Hospital, Kuching for more than 5 years, he holds a strong presence in the fields of occupational health services, medical surveillance, and also in providing medical education.
In 2020 Dr Bong was the COVID-19 taskforce PPE liaison as the person in charge of personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers in the hospital during the early stages of the pandemic.