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Tell us about your work

Hi, I am Vik and welcome to the Cupron Medical textiles Blog.  As you might have already guessed, I am the “Chemist” at Cupron Inc.

A new front in the war against microbes that cause everything from athlete’s foot to life-threatening infections is about to be launched from a small office in downtown Richmond.

Cupron Inc., a technology company that was founded in Israel and that opened a U.S. office in Richmond in 2009, has developed its own weapon in that war — contained in boxes stacked up around the company’s office in the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park.

That weapon is socks.

They might look like regular athletic socks, but these are not just ordinary socks.

Cupron’s socks have been infused with particles of copper oxide, which has natural anti-microbial properties. The copper makes them highly resistant to the runaway microbial growth that in most cases simply makes socks stink, but which also can cause serious health problems.

The company first gained fame in 2010 when it supplied anti-microbial socks that were sent down a supply shaft to 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days.

Now, Cupron’s technology is being used in different products, including several brands of sportswear and pillowcases.

The company is also moving more aggressively to bring its products into a wider marketplace that includes hard surfaces such as countertops, armed with Environmental Protection Agency-approved research showing that its material is highly effective in preventing the growth of microbes.

Cupron’s major target right now is the health care market.

Your background?

I graduated from University of Missouri (Go Tigers!!!) with a doctoral degree in Chemical engineering. My doctoral research was focused on synthesis of magnetic nano and sub-micron particles, size and shape manipulation and surface functionalization. Prior to coming to the United States for graduate studies, I worked for Reliance Petroleum, India for couple of years, right after my bachelors in Chemical engineering from B.I.E.T College, India.

What do you love about your job?

The process of discovery and learning is one of the most exciting things for a scientist. Now combine that with real-world application to improve lives of others. Amazing, right? That’s what I get to do and enjoy at Cupron Inc. I was first introduced to the Copper chemistry, while I was still dabbling with other transition metals (think iron, nickel, cobalt and zinc) at another company, when I was asked to produce high purity Copper oxide material for Cupron Inc. That was back in 2009!

Since then, I have come a long way. Understanding, integrating, optimizing and most importantly preserving the functionality of copper chemistry in different substrates, carriers and polymers has been and continues to be my focus. Along the way, I have developed a deep understanding of the relationship between physical and chemical properties of anti-microbials to their efficacy and durability.

If you have questions or comments related to the copper chemistry of the Cupron Inc technologies, and their interactions with different manufacturing, production or industrial processes (industrial laundering, dyeing etc.,), I am your expert.