Smart filtering and protective technologies against COVID-19

Murugesu, Muralee | $50,000

Ontario University of Ottawa 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

The discovery of efficient multifunctional porous materials aiming to address societal challenges is the focus of our team. We are interested in finding new applications to these materials that can ensure the welfare of Canadians by protecting our health and environment while not relying on international manufacturing and ensuring benefits for Canada’s economy. Amidst the COVID‑19 pandemic, we believe that we have the answer to the urgent need for the next generation of smarter and safer personal protective equipment (PPE) based on the materials we have expertise in preparing. This proposed program aims a partnership between the Murugesu Group at the University of Ottawa and General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems – Canada Inc. (GDOTS Canada) to look at ways to protect Canadians and the environment from dangerous microorganisms dispersed in the air including the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is easily spread especially when containment measures are not properly adopted. The virus spreads through coughing or sneezing, but also during the speech, creating a mist of small invisible droplets that can be exchanged through the respiratory tracts. Thus, as widely recommended, social distance is the best measure to control the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Nonetheless, healthcare workers on the frontlines and military need self-protection equipment to assist the population while working safely. With this in mind, this proposal encompasses the preparation, characterization, and scale-up of high performing and highly tunable porous materials termed Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) and their amalgamation with polymeric microfibers at the nanoscale, aiming to implement smart filtering materials to support the fabrication of smart PPE especially for providing the frontline healthcare workers dealing with infected patients with high-performing masks, respirators, and apparel.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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