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IIT startup makes fabrics infections proof

Apr 09, 2020
IIT startup makes fabrics infections proof

Fabiosys Innovations, an IIT Delhi startup, is developing “infection-proof fabrics” to prevent hospital acquired infections. In experiments, Fabiosys’ fabrics have been shown to kill around 99.9 per cent of pathogens in one-two hours. The team has developed an affordable textile processing technology to convert cotton fabrics into infection-proof fabrics.

The public healthcare facilities in developing countries like India have always been crowded. According to the statistics from Indian health ministry, for every 100 hospitalised patients in developing countries, 10 get impacted by hospital acquired infections (HAIs).

One of the major mechanisms of spread of these infections is through contact from contaminated surfaces. A patient in a hospital is surrounded by a variety of fabrics in the form of bedsheets, uniforms of patients, doctors and nurses, etc. These textiles actually become the breeding ground for pathogens which do not get killed even with washing in hot water.

The Fabiosys team has been working on this problem for the past one and half years. The team has developed an affordable novel textile processing technology which converts regular cotton fabrics into infection-proof fabrics. They take rolls of cotton fabrics and treat those with a set of their 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 properties.

Even after washing multiple times, Fabiosys’ fabric does not lose its functionality. This fabric can be stitched into various articles like bedsheets, uniforms for patients, doctors and nurses, curtains, etc. The fabric satisfies the Indian Washing Standards in terms of number of washing. It is also completely non-toxic and affordable to the Indian middle- class population.

Yatee Gupta, a B Tech undergrad from IIT Delhi has experience in MedTech through multiple healthcare related projects that he did during his undergrad years.

“Due to these projects, I used to visit nearby public hospitals and talk to patients there. While talking to a few patients from one popular public hospital AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) Delhi, some of the patients told me that they got sicker after they got admitted there. Initially, I ignored and forgot the conversation but when I started researching, I found that Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) is a very 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 outbreak or epidemic. The recent case of Coronavirus is one such example,” said Gupta.

The Fabiosys Team is led by Prof Samrat Mukhopadhyay, Department of Textile and Fibre Engineering, IIT Delhi with an expertise in textile chemical processing and professors from AIIMS Delhi.