Indicative Masks

Initiated Research On Indicative Masks To Ensure Safe Segregation And Waste Management & Aid Optimum Reusability 


  • Increase in random disposal of protective masks, creating a severe threat to public health and the environment
  • Cross-transmission of diseases through rag pickers and their immediate community 
  • Repetitive re-use of single mask posing a threat on individual health 
  • Practice of re-selling used masks with only primary or absolutely no treatment 

Solution: An indicator-based mask to segregate the used masks from the unused ones 

  1. Identified the ill-practice of washing and repacking  of tons of used masks which are further being sold to dealers across cities at cheap prices, posing a serious health hazard
  2. Identified the problem of overuse of a single mask, which overtime reduces its efficacy and further acts as a carrier of germs
  3. Identified the problem of waste segregation for the rag pickers which pose severe cross-transmisible health concerns to them and their community
  4. Ideated to develop an indicator based mask to segregate the used masks from the unused ones to prevent threat to public health and the environment
  5. Thereafter, he approached and initiated a collaboration with eminent alumni of Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Delhi
  6. Along with his mentors and team, he proposed to  infuse a novel  chemical indicator into the polymers used to manufacture such single-use face masks- the optical indicator would detect the presence of CO at different levels and change the color via the gasochromic phenomenon
  7. Post approval of the idea and concept by  IIT Professors, the team was was granted the permission to work in the lab and work on developing a color-changing mask that changes color post usage, eliminating the notion of reuse
  8. They further received a funding of INR 4.5 Lakhs (~USD 5200) from Ansys Inc. under the Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, to support the development of a prototype

Other applications of the invention:

  • The fruit & vegetable industry, wherein the colour changing indicative packaging can help prioritise the sale of the older stocks to avoid loss due to rotting.
  • The indicative packaging can help HORECA( hotels, restaurants & cafes) industries to manage their inventory and supply chain more efficiently.
  • The indicative pigment can be infused in any PPE kit to ensure single time usage in critical care units.
  • A Full patent has been applied for, to authorise the process further, and response is currently awaited