The COVID Capture project for PPE captures and immobilises SARS-CoV-2 to prevent viral transfer between healthcare staff and patients, using NIRI’s new filtration platform technology. The technology is also relevant for sectors such as air filtration, wastewater filtration, automotive, pharmaceuticals and HVAC.
NIRI first identified a range of strategies for binding different functional groups onto the surface of the fibres. This allows the optimal binding strategy to be selected for the specific adsorbent molecule. The success of the project development to date means that COVID-Capture PPE is now being prototyped for clinical trial evaluation.
Dr Ross Ward, chief commercial officer at NIRI explained that the nonwoven adsorbent technology is developed for the selective filtration of molecules, compounds and particles from gaseous and liquid environments. He added: “The development of this new platform technology has been possible due to the extensive facilities we have at NIRI, including complete prototyping equipment such as drylaid, wetlaid, spunmelt, electrospinning and filament spinning and bonding techniques.
“The evaluation and optimisation of filter performance is, likewise, critically dependent upon our complete analytical services which allow us to tailor and modify the nonwoven architecture and factor in other functional performance requirements. The engineered nonwoven can be tailored, depending on the nature and volume of unwanted material to be filtered, and on the specific application, carrier fluid and separation performance requirements.”
In addition to the COVID Capture project, NIRI has utilised the new platform technology to enhance its Sanguis universal plasma filter, and is already exploring applications in wound-care, air filtration and wastewater filtration.