Nanocell PPE - Novel nanocellulosic composites as antivirals and antimicrobials for new PPE materials
Nanocell PPE brings together Hutton researchers and industry partners CelluComp Ltd and Halley Stevensons with funding from Innovate UK to support the development of completely new PPE materials which will offer improved safety and comfort by being highly absorbent, breathable and able to actively kill viruses and bacteria. The new materials will also be multiuse, washable and environmentally friendly.
Most PPE is single use, contains plastics, is not easily recyclable and generally is disposed of via landfill or discarded into the environment. It is estimated that if each person in the UK uses a single disposable mask each day for a year this would result in 66,000 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste (which would be a reservoir of infection) and have ten-fold more of a climate change impact than reusable masks. Interestingly, most of these materials are prone to "wetting out" and are poorly absorbant which raises transmission risks, and moreover they lack the requisite antiviral/antibacterial activities required for robust protection. There are however very few antiviral PPE technologies readily available in the public domain and those that are suffer from complex manufacturing methods, high expense, poor reusability, poor washability and rapidly lose their antiviral activities.
This project will produce unrivaled novel ISO validated multiuse, washable, environmentally friendly PPE materials which have potent antiviral activities, while also considering antibacterial properties.