The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi incubated startup Medicfibers has developed an antimicrobial solution called viroclog in collaboration with AIIMS, New Delhi. According to the developers, when applied as a coating on textiles, the solution helps reduce virus, bacteria, and fungi survival on fabric.
According to the researchers, the primary significance of this technology is to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by integrating antimicrobial technology with hospital clothing that provides a layer of protection against microbial pathogens. According to IIT Delhi, textile materials are major carriers of microbial pathogens, resulting in serious hospital-acquired infections (HAI) worldwide.
Viroclog coating on clothes lowers the surface energy
Coating the viroclog on textiles lowers the surface energy, preventing microbe adhesion and destroying microbe membrane integrity. According to the researchers, destroying the lipid-based membrane barrier renders the microbes inactive, preventing infection transmission.
The tests done by AIIMS New Delhi, IISc Bangalore, and multiple NABL accredited labs, show that viroclog technology contributes significantly towards reducing infections through antimicrobial hospital clothings, claimed IIT Delhi.
“Clothing materials provide room for the growth of pathogenic bacteria as they are porous, which only increases further in the humid and warm environment of the Indian subcontinent. Further, HAIs lead to prolonged hospitalization, added financial burden, and often more mortality. Therefore, there is a strong rationale for developing technology in India to reduce the HAI burden through a range of antimicrobial hospital clothing for healthcare,” Dr Sachin Kumar, mentor to the startup and a faculty member at the Centre of Biomedical Engineering, IIT Delh added.
Clothing is breeding ground of microorganisms
“Hospital-acquired microbial infections are a major problem not only in India but globally. During the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a renewed sense of urgency in tackling this issue. In this context, it is now being realized that clothing and textile materials are not only carriers of microorganisms such as pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and fungi, but also can act as a breeding ground for the growth of these microbes. Therefore, there is an urgent unmet need for medical workers in hospital settings to have protective clothing that provides long-lasting protection against microbes while being economical and comfortable,” Dr Vikram Saini, Medical Advisor to the startup and a faculty member at AIIMS, New Delhi said.