Publication date: Sep 21, 2023
It is known that some sectors of hospitals have high bacteria and virus loads that can remain as aerosols in the air and represent a significant health threat for patients and mainly professionals that work in the place daily. Therefore, the need for a respirator able to improve the filtration barrier of N95 masks and even inactivating airborne virus and bacteria becomes apparent. Such a fact motivated the creation of a new N95 respirator which employs chitosan nanoparticles on its intermediate layer (SN95 + CNP). The average chitosan nanoparticle size obtained was 165. 20 +/- 35. 00 nm, with a polydispersity index of 0. 36 +/- 0. 03 and a zeta potential of 47. 50 +/- 1. 70 mV. Mechanical tests demonstrate that the SN95 + CNP respirator is more resistant and meets the safety requisites of aerosol penetration, resistance to breath and flammability, presenting higher potential to filtrate microbial and viral particles when compared to conventional SN95 respirators. Furthermore, biological in vitro tests on bacteria, fungi and mammalian cell lines (HaCat, Vero E6 and CCL-81) corroborate the hypothesis that our SN95 + CNP respirator presents strong antimicrobial activity and is safe for human use. There was a reduction of 96. 83% of the alphacoronavirus virus and 99% of H1N1 virus and MHV-3 betacoronavirus after 120 min of contact compared to the conventional respirator (SN95), demonstrating that SN95 + CNP have a relevant potential as personal protection equipment. Due to chitosan nanotechnology, our novel N95 respirator presents improved mechanical, antimicrobial and antiviral characteristics.