Coronavirus COVID-19

Project by Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology develops biodegradable antiviral filters for producing protective face masks

News - 2020.5.13

  • x: opens new window
  • Whatsapp: opens new window
  • Linkedin: opens new window
  • Send: opens new window

Led by the scientist, José María Lagarón, the research group behind this project has been working hard since this healthcare crisis began in partnership with the company, Bioinicia S.L., to develop filtration materials that can be built into face masks.

The project has received approval from the Global Health platform of the CSIC and the Valencia Innovation Agency (Spanish acronym: AVI) as an initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The IATA seeks to solve the difficulty in gaining access to certain filtration materials, as well as improve the prophylactic quality of face masks so they can protect against the virus passively - by preventing entry by the virus - and actively - by including viricides in the filters.

Furthermore, the IATA-CSIC research team aims to produce a material that is biodegradable in order to prevent the waste generated by the large-scale use of protective equipment by the population from becoming an environmental problem. Highly effective perishable filters have already been produced that can be replaced daily, thereby avoiding disposal of the whole item.

The developments achieved so far have produced filtration levels in FFP3 certified installations, which means that potentially a maximum of one out of every 100 viruses that try to pass through the filter do so successfully. "In the studies we have recently conducted in certified installations, we are already seeing values of 0.079% penetration of paraffin aerosol models, which means it is highly effective. Furthermore, it should be noted that these filtration levels are very hard to achieve in such thin materials given that we are talking about several layers of thicknesses less than 300 microns", explains José María Lagarón.

The Jaume I University, a member of the Polymer Technology partner unit of the CSIC, is also involved in the project to study the levels of biodegradation in the materials developed by the IATA-CSIC.

In turn, Bioinicia S.L. (a spin-off of the CSIC) meets all the requirements to manufacture pharmaceutical and biomedical material. It has a cGMP and ISO 13485 clean room, and a production capacity of 10 tonnes/year, enough to produce several million face masks. It has also filed the first patent application (under joint ownership with the CSIC) with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (Spanish acronym: OEPM) and is already producing the first FFP2 and FFP3 protection filters.

Non official translation