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Galway company introduces new wipes and masks that can trap and destroy virus

Human beings are now giving a life importance to personal hygiene, because of the corona virus outbreak. Mask and hand sanitizers are having huge demands at the moment; thus, it is equally important to be equipped with the best kind of defense techniques.

Aquila Bioscience is a Galway based campus company founded in 2012, has now come up with an advanced material for the manufacture of masks and wipes.

The company has made the masks and wipes using a cellulose-based material, which is designed in a way to capture and trap viruses and other microbes. The company says that the material is capable of caging viruses and thus, it could reduce their transmission considerably.

The material was initially developed for defense purpose but the company says that it has the capability to fight against the corona viruses spread. The material can be used for cleaning surfaces and wipe skin.

Aquila founder, Prof Lokesh Joshi, a biochemist at NUGI says that “At the time no one had heard of Covid-19 but when this hit we found the wipes have a specific chemistry that can capture this virus too. The product is in development now, and could have a huge global impact on the current outbreak.”

While other common wipes and cleaners uses cheap cleaning agents like bleach and hydrogen peroxide, the company product uses biodegradable materials for the manufacturing of the wipes and cleaners. Thus, they are safe to use on human skin and also it doesn’t cause any harm to the environment.

The product has been tested in different nations like Ireland, Czech Republic and funded from the European Defense Agency, Prof. Joshi says that the product is now ready to go and the company is liaising with manufacturing partners.

The company has also been contacted by some surgical mask makers. They are seeking for blending the new technology to provide extra protection for the workers in the health sectors.

The materials are made similar to natural pathogens, so that it will have much more ability to capture microbes and virus. Prof. Joshi says that the technology is much more similar to the defense mechanism of living beings.  

About the Professor

Professor Lokesh Joshi is the Vice-President for Research and has also led the research and innovation mission for NUI since 2013.

He joined the University 13 years ago in the role of a Science Foundation Ireland Stokes Professor of Glycoscience. Now he is the Director of the Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster, an SFI-funded Strategic Research Cluster.

He took is PhD from Bath University, UK and did his Post-Doctoral and Research Associate training at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

Prior to the NUI Galway, he worked as an associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and Director of the Center for Glycoscience and Technologies in the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, USA. He was also co-founder and CSO of Arizona Engineered Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing products for cardiovascular diseases.

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