Design and fabrication of an instrument to assess the resistance of materials used in medical facemasks to penetration against aerosol particles using latex spheres.

A surgical face mask also known as a procedure mask, is intended to be worn by health professionals during surgery and at other times to catch the bacteria shed in liquid droplets and aerosols from the wearer's mouth and nose.

Normal activities such as sneezing, coughing, breathing and speaking may release oral, dermal and nasopharyngeal bacteria that may cause post – operative infections. Other type of aerosols include dental aerosols, laser plumes etc which are released during operation/ other procedures.

Hence, appropriate testing instruments are required to assess the filtration efficiency of surgical face mask against the variety of micro-organisms penetration. Such instruments are not available in India at present. 

SITRA is in the process of development of one such instrument to measure the particle filtration efficiency of materials used in medical face masks.