Covid-19: IIT Delhi makes anti-infection fabric to curb hospital infections

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) has developed here an “infection resistant fabric” for use in hospitals to prevent nosocomial infections (IHA). The development of “Fabiosys Innovations”, a start-up incubated at IIT-Delhi, comes at a time when the world is facing the deadly epidemic of coronavirus. However, the team has been working on the project for over a year with the support of the government’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

According to official statistics from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, for every 100 hospital patients in developing countries, 10 contract HAIs and the risk is even higher during a coronavirus epidemic.

The team says they have developed new affordable textile processing technology, which converts ordinary cotton fabric into infection-resistant fabric. “We take rolls of cotton fabric and treat it with a set of chemicals developed under special reaction conditions, using machines already available in the textile industries. The fabric, after having undergone these processes, acquires powerful functionality antimicrobial, “Samrat Mukhopadhyay, professor in the Department of Textile and Fiber Engineering at IIT-Delhi, said.

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“What is interesting with the Fabiosys fabric is that even after several washes, it does not lose its functionality. This fabric can be sewn into various items such as sheets, uniforms for patients, doctors and nurses and even the curtains. The fabric meets Indian washing standards in terms of number of washes. It is also completely non-toxic and affordable, “he added. IIT collaborated with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for a pilot test of the product.

“By talking to a few AIIMS patients, we learned that they got sicker after being admitted there. When we started our research, we found that nosocomial infections (HAI) are a serious problem , especially in developing countries like India, where tropical weather conditions are conducive to the growth of bacteria. “I was surprised to find that many patients were not even aware of IHAs. People are generally aware of any cross-contamination when it has already taken the form of an epidemic or an epidemic. The recent coronavirus case is an example, “said Yatee Gupta, a graduate of BTech from the institute working on innovation.

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According to Gupta, one of the main means of spreading these infections is contact with contaminated surfaces and a patient in a hospital is surrounded by a variety of tissue in the form of sheets, uniforms for patients, doctors and nurses, etc. and these textiles the surfaces actually become the breeding ground for pathogens, which are not killed even when washed in hot water.

“We are currently conducting large-scale manufacturing trials in the Delhi-NCR area. We have collaborated with AIIMS, Delhi to pilot our products. We are also in talks with some of the largest hospital chains in India for pilots and strategic collaborations. We have received financial support from the Department of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Human Resources Development, IIT Delhi and the Department of Biotechnology in the form of grants and scholarships “, said Gupta.

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