IISc uses green tea ingredients for antimicrobial air filtration technology

To mitigate air-borne infections

A newly developed air filter can deactivate the germs, ‘self-cleaning’ them out of the system using ingredients commonly found in green tea. Impure air might make our life shorter, to the extent that Indians lose 5-10 years of their lives because of air-borne contaminants leading to respiratory diseases, adversely affecting physical health as well as mental health, according to a report by University of Chicago in the US.

A research team led by Prof Suryasarathi Bose and Prof Kaushik Chatterjee at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has developed germ-destroying air filters that can inactivate germs using ingredients like polyphenols and polycationic polymers commonly found in green tea. These ‘green’ ingredients rupture the microbes through site-specific binding.

This technology has been transferred to AIRTH, a startup that is replacing the existing germ-growing air filters with germ-destroying air filters for commercialisation. As this innovation holds promise to develop antimicrobial filters that can prevent endemics caused by air-borne pathogens, a patent was granted in 2022.

Image credit- shutterstock

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