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A group of researchers from Universiti Malaya have developed a face mask Ultraviolet C (UVC) sterilising machine, to address personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage issues. 

The group, which comprises physicians and researchers from Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (PPUM) engineering faculty worked together to design the machine.

The chief researcher for the project Dr. Mohd Ridha Muhammad said the UVC machine is developed with a combination of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation which could decontaminate or sterilise used face masks. "The use of Ultraviolet radiation is effective in detoxifying viruses, which fits the machine's ultimate purpose.

"The machine, which is designed with nine boxes made of Quartz glass, resembles a microwave set that allows used face masks to be decontaminated from viruses including Covid-19, which would allow sterilised face masks to be re-used.

"The Quartz glass was chosen for the decontamination process, as it allows the UVC radiation to pass through the container, and reach the face mask while preventing cross-sections," he said in a statement, today.

Dr. Ridha, who is also UM's Faculty of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering department senior lecturer said the process of sterilizing face masks using the machine would only take around seven minutes to complete. 

This invention, he said, will likely benefit the country's medical sector, thus saving millions of ringgit on face mask purchases. 

"The development and commercialisation of this machine were seen to have a huge impact globally," he said. 

Following this invention, UM's Faculty of Medicine's head of Community Medicine and Prevention department Professor Dr. Victor Hoe Chee Wai Abdullah said such innovations are much needed as the country is still combating and curbing the spread of Covid-19.

Last Update: Apr 07, 2022