FH Bielefeld
University of
Applied Sciences

"Nanomaterials-AG" receives funding for two projects from the fund "Innovations against the Corona Crisis”

INFO

The first project "Customised bio-based masks consisting of nanofibres with natural ingredients offering high wearing and breathing comfort and antibacterial properties" is concerned with the production of antimicrobial protective masks from biopolymers by electrospinning with included bio-based natural ingredients such as aloe vera, cinnamon, curcuma, lemon, herbal extracts etc. These community masks are supposed to offer a high wearing and breathing comfort, are very light and non-slip, can have a positive effect on the skin due to their natural ingredients and are supposed to provide protection against pathogens. Nanofibres with a diameter of between 100 and 450 nm and thus much smaller than bacteria and viruses serve as a barrier to pathogens. Due to these physical effects, nanofiber mats can successfully protect against viruses and bacteria and are used in medical textiles.

The second project “Mycelium-cotton composite masks for protection against pathogens“ will develop a protective mask based on fungal mycelium of the edible fungus Pleurotus ostreatus and cotton fabric, which will protect against pathogens and suppress the multiplication of bacteria or viruses. According to scientific studies, Pleurotus ostreatus has antiviral, antibacterial, antibiotic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering properties. The antiviral activity of these fungi is mainly related to the presence of polysaccharides in mycelium and fruiting bodies and to the synthesis of secondary triterpenoid metabolites. Furthermore, only sustainable materials are used in this mycelium-cotton composite, as opposed to synthetic protective masks. Due to the great demand for protective articles, the problem of environmental pollution and recycling of plastic masks will increase steadily over time and will have a massive impact on the environment.

As part of the university's internal initiative "Innovations against the Corona Crisis", Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences supports projects and creative concepts that facilitate the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and help to protect against infection. The project duration is one year until 30.06.2021 and the projects are each supported with 3.000 Euro.