IIT-D Startup Develops Unique Medical Textile

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IIT-Delhi incubation startup develops affordable antimicrobial fabric

The medical textile destroys almost 100% bacteria, virus in 30 minutes

An Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi startup has developed an `affordable high-performance medical textile’, which claims to “destroy around 99.9% of the bacteria and viruses within 30 minutes”. The product, Fabium, has been developed by a start-up called Fabiosys Innovations. Fabriosys Innovations was founded in 2019 by Yatee Gupta, an IIT Delhi alumnus, under the mentorship of Prof. Samrat Mukhopadhyay from the Department of Textile and Fibre Engineering.

“Ordinary antimicrobial fabric products available in the market inhibit microbes in a span of 24 hours and that too with an unsatisfactory efficiency. This time span of 24 hours makes those antimicrobial fabric products impractical to be used in everyday life because a typical bacterium doubles itself in a span of around 20-30 minutes,” IIT-D said in a statement.

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“Fabium® is developed using a technology called Hi-PAT, which makes it highly effective against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Fabium starts working within seconds of contact with the pathogens and destroys almost 99.9% of them within 30 minutes,” it said. Manufacturing the fabric requires “passing the raw cotton fabric through a set of proprietary chemical formulations while using the standard textile processing machinery”, which are commonly available in the Indian textile industry.

The newly developed fabric can be made with “any kind of fabric: natural or synthetic; woven, nonwoven or knitted”. One of its USPs is its natural colour, “which is 100% white making it suitable for further dyeing, printing, embroidery, and other kinds of designing”. The team, which produced Fabium, has completed large-scale manufacturing trials in collaboration with a textile industry partner in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) “to ensure that the large scale fabric manufacturing can be done while maintaining its high-efficiency and affordability”.

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“The affordability of Fabium is due to the technology behind it rather than cheap labour cost. Market research done by Team Fabiosys indicates that our cost-effective novel chemical formulation and unique textile processing technology make Fabium a comparatively extremely affordable antiviral fabric. We are receiving encouraging responses from the industry for manufacturing and distribution of Fabium products,” said Yatee Gupta, the founder of Fabiosys Innovations.

“The fabric is free from formaldehyde and metal nanoparticles, which cause toxicity ane irritation to the human body. The fabric is rigorously tested as per ASTM D737 Standard for air permeability, which shows that the Fabium is almost as breathable as regular fabrics, which makes it very useful in applications like masks and coveralls (PPE), where breathability is almost always an issue,” IIT-D said.

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Fabriosys Innovations was founded in 2019 by Gupta, an IIT Delhi alumnus, under the mentorship of Prof. Samrat Mukhopadhyay from the Department of Textile and Fibre Engineering. Gupta and Mukhopadhyay started exploring medical textiles as an emerging industry in India in 2018 and started developing infection-proof fabrics to prevent cross contaminations in hospitals.

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