IIT Delhi startup Fabiosys Innovations developing infection-proof fabrics

Fabiosys Innovations is a deep-tech startup incubated at IIT Delhi. The mission at Fabiosys is to make hospitals safer. The public healthcare facilities in developing countries like India have always been crowded. According to the statistics from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, for every 100 hospitalized patients in developing countries, 10 will acquire Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs).

Basically, a patient gets admitted to a hospital to get cured but instead he gets an additional infection from the hospital. One of the major mechanisms of spread of these infections is through contact from contaminated surfaces and a typical patient in a hospital is surrounded by a variety of fabrics in the form of bedsheets, uniforms of patients, doctors and nurses, etc. These textiles surfaces actually become the breeding ground for pathogens which do not get killed even while washing in hot water.

The Fabiosys team has been working on this problem for the past 1.5 years. The team is developing “infection-proof fabrics” to prevent these Hospital Acquired Infections. Fabiosys’ fabrics kill around 99.9% of the pathogens in 1-2 hours. The team has developed an affordable novel textile processing technology which converts regular cotton fabrics into infection-proof fabrics. They take rolls of cotton fabrics and treat those with a set of their proprietary developed chemicals under a set of particular reaction conditions using the machinery already commonly available in textile industries. The fabric after undergoing these processes gains the powerful Antimicrobial functionality.

What is interesting about Fabiosys’ fabric is that, even after washing multiple times it does not lose its functionality. This fabric can be stitched into various articles like bedsheets, uniforms for patients, doctors and nurses, curtains, etc. The fabric satisfies the Indian Washing Standards in terms of number of washing. It is also completely non-toxic and affordable to the Indian middle class population.

Mr Yatee Gupta, a B.Tech undergrad from IIT Delhi has experience in MedTech through multiple healthcare related projects that he did during his undergrad years.

“Due to these projects, I used to visit nearby public hospitals and talk to patients there. While talking to a few patients from one popular public hospital AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) Delhi, some of the patients told me that they got sicker after they got admitted there. Initially, I ignored and forgot the conversation but when I started researching, I found that Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) is a very grave problem especially in developing countries like India where the tropical climatic conditions are suitable for the growth of bacteria. I was surprised to see that many patients are not even aware about HAIs. People usually become aware of any cross-contamination when it has already taken the form of outbreak or epidemic. The recent case of Coronavirus is one such example,” said Yatee Gupta.

The Fabiosys Team is mentored by Prof Samrat Mukhopadhyay, Department of Textile and Fiber Engineering, IIT Delhi with an expertise in Textile chemical processing and professors from AIIMS Delhi from various departments.

“We are working together on this idea for the past 1.5 years. We are currently in the process of conducting large scale manufacturing trials in Delhi-NCR region. We have collaborated with AIIMS Delhi to pilot our products. We are also in early talks with some of the largest hospital chains in India for further pilots and strategic collaborations. We have been financially supported by Dept. of Science & Technology, Ministry of Human Resource Development, IIT Delhi and Dept. of Biotechnology in the form of grants and fellowships,” added Yatee Gupta.

Fabiosys has recently been approved for the Biotechnology Ignition Grant (Dept. of Biotechnology, Govt. of India). The earlier foundation of this work was built through Design Innovation Fellowship and DITSG Grant funded by MHRD, Government of India. At present, Fabiosys, which is incubated at Technology Business Incubator, IIT Delhi managed by FITT (Foundation of Innovation and Technology Transfer), comprises of three members in its team.

To accelerate its pilots and further manufacturing trials, Fabiosys is looking for Angel investments, pilot support from the government and collaborations with more hospitals.

Updated on 17th March 2020