DRDO develops sanitisation enclosures, face shields for medical fraternity

In the ongoing efforts against COVID-19 pandemic, a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar has designed a full-body disinfection chamber called as Personnel Sanitisation Enclosure (PSE) for the medical fraternity.

This walkthrough enclosure has been designed by Vehicle Research Development Establishment (VRDE) for personnel decontamination, one person at a time. This is a portable system equipped with sanitiser and soap dispenser.

The decontamination is started using a foot pedal at the entry. On entering the chamber, an electrically operated pump creates a disinfectant mist of hypo sodium chloride for disinfecting.

The mist spray is calibrated for the operation of 25 seconds and stops automatically indicating completion of the operation. As per procedure, personnel undergoing disinfection will need to keep their eyes closed while inside the chamber.

The system consists of roof-mounted and bottom tanks with a total of 700 liters capacity. Approximately 650 personnel can pass through the chamber for disinfection until the refill is required.

The system has see-through glass panels on sidewalls for monitoring purpose and is fitted with lights for illumination during night time operations. A separate operator cabin is provided to monitor overall operations.

The system has been manufactured with the help of D H Ltd, Ghaziabad, within a time span of four days. This system can be used for disinfection of personnel at the areas of controlled ingress and egress such as entry and exit to hospitals, malls, office buildings and critical installations.

Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad and Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), Chandigarh, have developed face protection mask for health care professionals handling COVID-19 patients. Its lightweight construction makes it convenient for comfortable wear for a long duration. This design uses commonly available A4 size Over-Head Projection (OHP) film for face protection.

The holding frame is manufactured using Fused Deposition Modeling (3D printing). The polylactic acid filament is used for 3D printing of the frame. This thermoplastic is derived from renewable resources such as corn starch or sugarcane and is biodegradable. The face mask will be mass-produced using injection moulding technique for volume production.

One thousand face shields are being produced daily in TBRL and provided to Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh. Similarly, 100 are produced at RCI and these have been handed over to Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), Hyderabad. A demand for 10,000 shields has been received from PGIMER and ESIC Hospitals based on successful user trials.