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Home / Education / IIT-Kanpur makes affordable polythene PPE kits

IIT-Kanpur makes affordable polythene PPE kits

These are made of polyethylene (polythene), which is non-porous and commonly used in the industry for packaging and making plastic bags.

education Updated: Apr 09, 2020 17:49 IST
Rajeev Mullick
Rajeev Mullick
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
These kits could be mass produced for less than Rs 100 per piece.
These kits could be mass produced for less than Rs 100 per piece. (Sourced)

A team of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) researchers has made affordable personal protective equipment (PPE) kits for medical staff and others involved in essential services who are working in high risk environment fighting the Sars-Cov-2 outbreak.

These are made of polyethylene (polythene), which is non-porous and commonly used in the industry for packaging and making plastic bags. These kits could be mass produced for less than Rs 100 per piece, said director IIT-K Prof Abhay Karandikar.

Dr Nitin Gupta, professor of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering Department, IIT-Kanpur said they and industry partners had developed these kits that could be made in local factories with polyethylene (polythene) material.

“These polyethylene-based improvised protective equipment (PIPES) can be produced in large quantities by local factories. These kits are based on thin cylindrical rolls/pipes of polyethylene (polythene) which is a non-porous material and commonly used in industries for packaging and making plastic bags,” he said.

Gupta said, “Our kit may not be as comfortable or visually appealing as compared to standard PPE kits but it meets the primary goal is protection against contamination.”

“We have checked the usability of the kit by wearing it for hours in non AC rooms and taking feedback for doctors. People working in outdoor conditions may take another version of the kit called PIPES comfort which has a face shield in place of full face covered,” he said.

“Design of the PIPES kit is an open source. It is open for all and small and medium factories can independently start making PIPES kit in very large quantities in a very short time. We invite manufacturers from different parts of the country to use our design,” Gupta said.

Prof Gupta said, “We envision PIPES kits as a different category of protection gear than standard PPE kits. PIPES kits will be useful when standard PPE kits are not available or affordable for mass deployment.”

“Sars-Cov-2 has resulted in huge demand for personal protection equipment. The standard PPE kits are expensive and in very short supply. To address the growing demand for protection, we have developed a low cost alternative kit,” researchers at IIT-K said.

IIT-K director said people like doctors, nurses and nagar nigam sweepers who were engaged in public services needed personal protection kits but at present these PPE kits were expensive and not easily available. “To give some relief to them, we have developed these low cost kits,” he said.

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