Coronavirus: IIT-Hyderabad research scholars formulate hand sanitiser during shortage
With a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the country, healthcare facilities are increasingly coming under stress. There is an apparent shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, including face masks and hand sanitisers.
Several universities are taking it upon themselves to ensure the safety and protection of their varsity communities. Some research institutions are developing cost-effective processes to produce hand sanitisers.
At the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, researchers have formulated their own hand sanitiser. About 10 litres of this handrub has already been put out for use by students, staff and faculty. The hand sanitiser is at par with the standards recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The sanitiser was primarily developed by Dr Shivakalyani Adepu, a research scholar at the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering, and Dr Mudrika Khandelwal, an associate professor working in the same department at IIT-Hyderabad.
“We made the sanitiser purely to support the community at this critical time, (and) to adopt safe and hygienic practices. Our motto is to help people around us and we have not thought of commercialisation. We can assure that this is as safe as any commercial sanitiser, and possibly more effective,” Dr Shivakalyani told Deccan Herald.
To increase its viscosity and reduce its volatility, 70 percent of the sanitiser comprises isopropanol, glycerol and polypropylene glycol. This penetrates the cell wall, coagulates all proteins, and kills microorganisms. It also has small amounts of lemongrass oil, added for antimicrobial activity and a soothing aroma.
Bottles of this solution have been placed at the IIT’s faculty lounges, meeting halls, laboratories, Shiru Café, and other locations that people frequent. This move is regarded to be in the best interest of the community at the university campus.
“My research group has always believed in doing scientific research and outreach for the benefit of society. This is our small contribution at the time of need. I am glad we could make this happen, and hope to make similar contributions in the future,” added Dr Mudrika Khandelwal, according to India Today.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)
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