Multifunctional coatings for Meltblown filter media using end-functionalized PDMS brushes

With the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a huge demand for advanced face masks and air filtration systems that could not only prevent transmission of respiratory droplets but having the ability to kill pathogens. Meltblown filters are widely used in these systems for enhanced filtration efficiency but currently they are limited by fouling and have no inherent antimicrobial properties. Here, we propose to add these two features to meltblown filters and make them more competent to combat disease transmission. To achieve this, we will develop multifunctional coating that exhibits liquid repellency, antifouling, and antimicrobial (antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal) properties in collaboration with Meltech subsidiary of Medicom, one of the leading PPE manufacturers in Canada. The U of T/ Meltech team will be using surface chemistry techniques where PDMS brushes will be first attached to meltblown filters to achieve liquid repellency and then bond it with antimicrobial moieties. We will optimize the reaction conditions and using combination of these technologies the resultant filters will have excellent liquid repellency, antifouling, and antimicrobial properties. These meltblown filters will be then applied in face masks and/or filtering face respirators and validate their performance following industrial standards to assess the industrial viability of the modified filters.

Cory Pope
Faculty Supervisor: 
Kevin Golovin;Sarah Haines
Partner University: