A Swiss start-up called HMCARE, spun out of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, has raised a million Swiss Francs (equivalent to about$105 million) to advertise its transparent and fairly environmentally friendly surgical
masks. The founders were inspired by healthcare workers in the 2015 Ebola outbreak and at children’s medical facilities worldwide working carefully with patients however not able to show their faces. Moms and dads and relatives of immunocompromised people who need to make a human connection with two-thirds of their face covered.
There were technically transparent masks readily available, however they were just routine masks with a plastic window in them, which can fog up and isn’t breathable. Thierry Pelet, now CEO of the business, approached his EPFL colleagues with a prototype of a transparent mask material meeting the extensive needs of a medical environment. It needs to permit air through but not viruses or bacteria, and so on.
The team worked with Swiss products center Empa to develop a brand-new type of textile. Utilizing biomass-derived transparent fibers put 100 nanometers apart to form sheets and after that triple-layered, they made a flexible, breathable product that’s likewise nearly transparent– a bit like gently frosted glass. They call it the HelloMask.
The product can be made in bulk and formed into mask shapes similar to normal cloth, but there is the matter of spinning up manufacturing for it. The world is desperate for masks, and the concept of a transparent one was clearly catnip for investors. HMCARE quickly raised a million-franc seed round, the R&D work having actually been done using nonprofit contributions and grants.
While the HelloMasks might release as early as the start of 2021, they’ll be primarily for the medical neighborhood, though public schedule is definitely a possibility.
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.