Hyderabad, March 18 (IANS) Amid the novel coronavirus scare around the globe, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IIT-H) on Wednesday said its researchers have developed their own hand sanitizer, in line with the standards recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) for the 'Institute Community'.
Around ten liters of this hand sanitizer have already been deployed in the campus for the benefit of the students, staff and faculty at locations such as faculty lounge, meeting halls and laboratories, among other areas, according to the Institute.
This has been developed by Dr. Shivakalyani Adepu, who was a Research Scholar at the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad along with Dr. Mudrika Khandelwal, Associate Professor, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad.
"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 would make this happen and hope to make similar contributions in the future," said Dr Mudrika Khandelwal, Associate Professor, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad.
According to the researchers, the composition of this hand sanitizer is 70 per cent isopropanol with glycerol, polypropylene glycol to increase the viscosity and reduce the volatility so that the sanitizer stays on skin to allow action, as well as lemongrass oil for antimicrobial activity and therapeutic aroma.
The 70 per cent IPA solution penetrates the cell wall, coagulates all proteins, and therefore the microorganism dies.
"This was done purely to support the community at this time when it is critical to adopt safe and hygienic practices. We have not thought of commercialisation. Our motto is to help people around us. We can assure that these are as safe as any commercial sanitizer, and possibly more effective," said Shivakalyani Adepu.
"Our laboratory conducts a lot of microbiological studies and we have tested these kinds of materials before and have been using the same for several years now. Its efficacy is well known and has been reported," Adepu added.
According to WHO and the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC), hands account for transmitting nearly 80 per cent of the infections due to frequent touching of eyes, nose, mouth and ears which leads to the entry of germs.
The alcohol-based hand sanitizers kill most bacteria, and fungi, and stop some viruses, present on hands within 30 seconds of application.