COVIDľ19 Impact on the Bio-Based Polymers Used in Healthcare Industry

Posted by Rajesh M on April 6th, 2021

COVID–19 Impact on the Bio-Based Polymers Used in Healthcare Industry


The coronavirus disease epidemic for 2019 (COVID-19) is believed to have risen in December 2019 first in Wuhan, China, before expanding into more than 120 countries in the months that followed. On 31st January 2020, the World Health Organization named it a "major public health emergency," and on 11th March 2020, it was recognized as a pandemic.

Inhalation of respiratory outlets is the main path to SarS-Cov-2 transfer from person to person. Developing precautions to avoid the dissemination of aerosol droplets carrying virus particles is a critical prerequisite for curbing ongoing outbreak. Nevertheless, the existing types of respiratory safety masks in use are infamous for their flawed construction and their more modern analogs need to be produced with improved blocking functionality and the potential to kill bacteria and viruses.

One such concept is likely to take influence from nanotechnology. In this article, we identify a modern Egyptian style that uses a facial mask for mass manufacturing that can be recycled, converted and antimicrobial, and antiviral. The innovative concept is focused on the filtering method made up of a nano-fibrous matrix made of cellulosic acid and acetate comprising nanoparticles of copper-oxide and nanosheets of graphene oxide. At the same time, the flat template produced from a composite thermoplastic substrate is used to render the facial anatomy solid.

Owing to the extensive use of polyps in the prototyping of vital medical goods, the development of an effective antimicrobial polymer for additive manufacturing appears to be increasingly relevant. Potential applications in the manufacture of medical devices for bacterial growth are suggested through the connection of copper nanoparticles to polymers and subsequent antimicrobial properties. Copper nanocomposites have traditionally been used to improve the antimicrobial properties of polymers used in injection molding or the manufacturing of chemicals for the production of medical devices.

Polylactic acid has been defined as the key commodity polymer extracted from renewable resources annually, such as corn. Thus, the usage of a natural resource to manufacture antimicrobial polymers for additive manufacturing may substantially lead to the interruption of the existing supply chain of medical supplies including the development of essential medical devices in austere clinical settings.

Simply since it is understood that SARS-CoV-2 travels through the environment, preventing the spread of aerosol droplets containing the virus by coughing, sneezing or communicating is a critical prerequisite to prevent the on-going epidemic. Developing shielding technology to obstruct the route of aerosol droplets carrying virus particles to human respiratory systems is a crucial technique in this line of action. China, for example, manufactures about 20 million face masks per day, accounting for around 50 percent of world demand.

However, even if China's production were to be at maximum potential, it would not fulfill the population needs of about 1.4 billion citizens in China alone under the universal face mask scheme. Moreover, due to the downturn in global trade, each nation could start producing its own protective equipment utilizing local resources. As a consequence, steps should be taken to deter the nosocomial dissemination of this virus and suitable, highly efficient facial masks should be worn during contact with suspected or confirmed patients in order to reduce the possibility of infection transfer to health workers' teams.

Nanoparticle-reinforced polymer composites are used to produce tissue engineering systems through electrospinning. The polylactic acid (PLA) we used is a biodegradable and translucent polymer with a strong elastic modulus which could be produced from starch and other carbohydrates. Electrospun PLA membranes have been shown to be prospective filters for insulation of environmental contaminants, including ambient aerosols and submicron particles released in groundwater, but study into them has been merely intermittent.

With COVID-19 the conditions are expected to increase considerably. The pandemic has decreased bio-based polymers demand in healthcare, the demand of bio-based polymers until now and the most rapidly rising bio-based polymers sector, by reducing economic growth. Although economic success suggests a recovery, demand growth in the bio-based polymers industry will decline by half from previous projections at an annualized rate of inflation.

Since COVID-19 and strict containment measures seriously disturb global manufacturing supply chains, due to the punctuality, the human interference, and the accessibility of technology, the 3D printers industry is gaining momentum. Bio-based polymers in an additive manufacturing process (in addition to multiple layers), including the rapid creation of a computer-aided design model prototype and construction of a 3D concrete structure. It is most often used in the prototyping and production of single parts and is much quicker than traditional techniques.

Simply stated, additive engineering technology enables functional parts to be assembled on-demand within minutes or hours. It has saved many people's lives in the fight against the pandemic by promoting the production on-demand of critical medical supplied products such as test swabs, medical devices such as fan components and personal safety (PPEs), including masks and components of breathing devices.


  • In April 2020, NatureWorks and the Nonwovens Institute (NWI) of North Carolina State University (NC State) have designed a new non - woven spunbond system to manufacture at least 10 million additional N95 surgical masks. NatureWorks manufacturer’s Ingeo-branded polylactic acid (PLA) and lactides, greenhouse gas-based polymers and fibre products. NWI has expanded the use of its research and training pilot production line for the development of face mask products, and NatureWorks has provided the Ingeo resin needed to produce the non - woven material.
  • In April 2020, TBM and Bioworks will encourage the re-use of face masks to better fix the scarcity of face masks worldwide, while at the same time seeking to increase the environmental impact through the use of green biomass-based energy. Bio face production outside Japan is also expected. TBM and Bioworks are now searching for partner businesses and organisations that are willing to sell and supply Bio Face masks. Most disposable face bags are made of petroleum-derived plastic, and — as the use of face masks increases — suitable removal of surgical masks has become important as masks are swept out to sea and end up on beaches.

By implementing various strategies such as growing production capacity, new product releases, product availability, the manufacturers aim to achieve optimum market growth. The growth of bio-based polymers in applications such as aerospace & defense, engineering, healthcare, automotive, and others is anticipated to offer favorable opportunities for the key players operating in the market.

Factors such as the places for distribution and sales are expected to help improve the company's overall role. Small domestic players and emerging players in developing countries in particular are likely to gain opportunities to establish themselves on the market.


Bio-based polymers are not a modern invention, but in this extraordinary moment, it comes to the fore. In numerous fields, bio-based polymers are used and help to offer answers to several specific problems. Bio-based polymers are still a risk, but the benefits greatly outweigh the disadvantages of using bio-based polymers. One of the main advantages of utilizing bio-based polymers is the opportunity to print surgical devices quickly and with less waste. Yet bio-based polymers may be costly, particularly if the designs are supplied by a full-time staff.

The bio-based polymers community can play an important role in alleviating shortages of critical medical supplies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the global crisis, the regulatory requirements and the risk of liabilities have already been substantially reduced in several ways that make participating in the production of medical products significantly easier and less risky for bio-based polymers producers. Other initiatives similarly addressed are frequently announced. In this more transparent climate, creativity and the usage of additional output are unprecedented in the battle against COVID-19.

The possible immunities in the battle against COVID–19 to minimize liability risk and deliver healthy and secure health care workers content, it remains necessary for the 3D suppliers to collaborate with government agencies and current manufacturers of medical equipment and to provide appropriate reporting and labeling for their goods and not to render them unsubstantiated.

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Rajesh M

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Rajesh M
Joined: March 12th, 2021
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