Ashis Sinha I Dhanbad: IIT-ISM, Dhanbad has developed a UVC radiation-based disinfectant chamber to address the concern raised for rapid transmission of the COVID-19 virus within the country. The system is designed by the faculty members of the departmental of Mechanical Engineering and fabricated in the “Central Fabrication Facility” of ISM.
Professor A R Dixit, the Project Coordinator said that the UVC (200-280nm) could be an effective measure for decontaminating surfaces that may be contaminated by the SARS-CoV-2 virus by inducing photodimers in the genomes of microorganisms. The current global SARS-CoV2 pandemic is of serious concern with its extraordinary transmission rate and rapid spread throughout the country.
Although the mortality rate in India is reported low as compared to other countries, currently, no antiviral drugs or vaccine is available to the public. It has been reported that structurally this virus is similar to other coronaviruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and can be addressed with existing disinfection methods such as disinfectant chemicals, drying heating, and ultra-violet radiations (UVC).
Ultraviolet light has been demonstrated to be capable of destroying viruses, bacteria, and fungi, In view of the above, a team comprising of Professor Dixit, Professor Arun Dayal Udai, Ashish Kumar, and Ashish Sidharth has designed UVC based sterilizer, he said.
It consists of two chambers (440x400x400 and 440x400x100mm) to accommodate different size items. The time required to disinfect the items depends upon the size of the item and type of material, said Prof Dixit.“The UVC dose is fixed based on data reported in the leading journal papers. The estimated time required disinfecting the item in the big and small chamber is 3 minutes and 1 minute, respectively,” he added.
The system has the provision to set desired sterilizing time, chamber selection, hand sanitizing station, LED lights, warning signals, etc. In addition to its functionality, the aesthetic look of the UVC chamber is also carefully designed, he said.
“The developed prototype is ready to be commercialized in case any interested industry or organization approaches the institute,” added Prof. Dixit.