Updated: October 16, 2012 6:08AM
MUNDELEIN — Medline Industries, Inc.’s BioMask, the first-ever FDA cleared antiviral medical face mask, is one of the top finalists for the 2012 Chicago Innovation Awards.
The final 10 winners will be announced Oct. 22.
The Chicago Innovation Awards, celebrating its 11th year, is the only organization in the country dedicated to honoring the most innovative new products or services brought to market or to public service from a specific region. This year almost 400 nominations were received.
In addition to filtering the air, BioMask is shown to inactivate 99.99 percent of laboratory tested flu viruses, including pandemic and seasonal strains of influenza viruses, such as H1N1, Bird flu and Swine flu that land on or reside on both the outer or inner surfaces of the mask.
The BioMask works by using a combination of citric acid, zinc and copper — all powerful, but safe ingredients. A hydrophilic coating on the outside quickly wicks droplets into and away from the outer surface. Viruses are inactivated on this outer layer by exposure to citric acid, which creates a low pH environment. The droplet then lands on the mask’s inner blue layer where influenza viruses are inactivated by copper and zinc, which are toxic to pathogens.
Thirteen 13 judges, representing a range of Chicago’s business community, will be involved in the judging process to select the final 10 winners of the Chicago Innovation Awards as well as 10 “Up & Comer” award winners for smaller organizations still in the start-up phases of their innovations.
In addition, each of the finalists is automatically in the running for the annual “People’s Choice Award,” selected through online balloting at www.chicagoinnovationawards.com.