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IIT-Delhi makes anti-infection fabric to stop hospital Infection

The Indian Institute of Technology claims to have developed an affordable “infection-proof fabric” to prevent hospital acquired infections

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Delhi) claims to have developed an affordable “infection-proof fabric” to prevent hospital acquired infections using textile-processing technology, which converts regular cotton fabric into infection-proof fabric.

The recent development by “Fabiosys Innovations”, which is a start-up incubated at IIT-Delhi, comes at a time when the whole world is fighting with the novel coronavirus outbreak. However, Fabiosys Innovations has been working on the same for over a year with the Department of Science and Technology’s support.

As per Ministry of Health and Family Welfare statistics, for every 100 hospitalised patients in developing countries, 10 acquire hospital acquired infections and the risk is even higher at the time of a COVID-19 outbreak. The team claims to create an affordable, novel textile-processing technology, which converts regular cotton fabric into infection-proof fabric.

Samrat Mukhopadhyay, a professor at the Department of Textile and Fibre Engineering in IIT-Delhi, said. “We take rolls of cotton fabric and treat it with a set of proprietary-developed chemicals under a set of particular reaction conditions, using the machinery already commonly available in textile industries. The fabric, after undergoing these processes, gains the powerful antimicrobial functionality,”

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He added. “What is interesting about the Fabiosys’ fabric is that even after washing multiple times, it does not lose its functionality. This fabric can be stitched into various articles such as bedsheets, the uniforms for patients, doctors and nurses and even curtains. The fabric satisfies the Indian washing standards in terms of number of washing. It is also completely non-toxic and affordable”.

Yatee Gupta, a B.Tech graduate from the IIT Delhi said, “While talking to a few patients at the AIIMS, we got to know that they became more sick after getting admitted there. When we started researching, we found that hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are a grave problem, especially in developing countries like India, where the tropical climatic conditions are suitable for the growth of bacteria. “I was surprised to see that many patients are not even aware about HAIs. People usually become aware of any cross-contamination when it has already taken the form of an outbreak or epidemic. The recent case of Novel COVID-19 is one such example”.

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Gupta added, “We are currently in the process of conducting large-scale manufacturing trials in the Delhi-NCR region. We have collaborated with AIIMS, Delhi for the pilot run our innovative products. We are also in early talks with some of the largest hospital chains in India for further pilots and strategic collaborations. We have been financially supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Human Resource Development, IIT Delhi and Department of Biotechnology in the form of grants and fellowships”.

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