Ministry of Textiles on-going Projects

Design and Development of an automated equipment to produce knotless incision closures

Investigators: Dr. K. P. Chellamani, Mr. D. Veerasubramanian and Mr. J. Sudharsan

Surgical sutures are the most frequently used biomaterial for wound closure and tissue approximation. However, they rely on the surgeon’s ability to tie secured knots, which is a challenging and time consuming process. Improper tieing and handling can result in knot breakage or slippage, and potentially wound dehiscence. Further, the knot impedes wound healing, constricts blood flow, distorts tissue and increases scar formation. To overcome these problems, SITRA, in an earlier project has developed barbed bi – directional surgical sutures. To develop this, SITRA has designed & fabricated pilot model equipment with production capacity of around 5 m/shift of 8 hrs. Manufacture of barbed bi – directional surgical sutures on a large scale is logically the next step to take the development into commercial stream. In order to produce barbed, bi – directional surgical sutures on a commercial scale, an automated machine with larger production capacity needs to be fabricated.  The aim of this project is to design and develop an automated high production equipment to introduce barbs into the monofilament sutures.

The developmental work is in progress.

Design and fabrication of an instrument to assess the resistance of materials used in Medical face masks

Investigators: Dr. K. P. Chellamani and Mr. D. Veerasubramanian

A surgical face mask also known as a procedure mask, it is intended to be worn by health professionals during surgery and at other times to catch the bacteria shed in liquid droplets and aerosols from the wearer's mouth and nose. Normal activities such as sneezing, coughing, breathing and speaking may release oral, dermal and nasopharyngeal bacteria that may cause post – operative infections. Micro organisms have varying characteristics that can influence their potential ability to penetrate the surgical facemask material including shape, size & their surface characteristics. Hence, appropriate testing instruments are required to assess the filtration efficiency of surgical face masks against micro-organisms with particle size, as low as 0.3 to 0.5m.

This project intends to develop one such instrument.  The fabrication of the instrument is in progress.

Development of a Leukodepletion Blood Filter

Investigators : Mr. K.Balasubramaniyan, Mr. S.Sounderraj and Mr. P.Sundaramoorthy 

Normally, 7-8% of human body’s weight is from blood. This essential fluid carries out the critical functions of transporting oxygen and nutrients to our cells and getting rid of carbon dioxide, ammonia, and other waste products.  Blood is a highly specialized tissue composed of more than 4,000 different kinds of components.  Four of the most important ones are red cells, white cells, platelets, and plasma.  Leukocytes are white blood cells, the body produces leukocytes to help fight off foreign substances in the body such as bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells in an effort to avoid sickness or disease.  However, when leukocytes are transfused into another person, with red blood cells, platelets or plasma, they are not well tolerated and have been associated with some types of transfusion reactions.  Leukodepletion is a process by which leucocytes are removed from donated blood. It has been estimated that the average content of leucocytes in donated human whole blood is 109 / unit.  By the current standards, the total content leucocytes in a blood unit should be less than 5 x 106/ unit after preparation and a minimum of 85% of whole blood or red cells is retained.  One of the methods used to remove leukocytes from blood components by use of textile fibre pads/non-woven.  Various fibre webs like cotton wool, cellulose acetate, nylon, nylon wool, polyester, micro denier polyester, micro denier glass fibre, etc. were used in leukocytes filters.  Presently, micro denier polyester, micro denier nylon, micro denier glass fibre made filters are commercially available in some foreign countries.   In this project it is proposed to develop Leukodepletion blood filter non-woven web using sub micro denier polyester fiber, sub micro denier nylon fiber or combination of both at non-woven web.  The efficiency of filtration is to be studied to standardize the material, process combinations, etc.

The developmental work is in progress.

Development of textile matrices for the effective wound management

Investigators: Dr. K. P. Chellamani, Dr. E. Santhini and Mr. R. S. Vignesh Balaji

Wound healing generally begins with the initiation of four distinct but overlapping phases viz hemostasis, inflammation,proliferation and remodeling under normal conditions. Activation of these pathways determines the rate of healing of specific type of wounds. However, this orderly progression of the healing process particularly angiogenesis of granulation phase is impaired in chronic wounds when it encounter with diabetes, and venous or arterial insufficiency. Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, is necessary for wound repair since the new vessels provide nutrients to support the active cells, promote granulation tissue formation and facilitate the clearance of debris. Approximately 60% of the granulation tissue mass is composed of blood vessels which also supplies the necessary oxygen to stimulate repair and vessel growth. Hence, the present study has been undertaken towards developing textile matrices by embroidery technology for the efficient incorporation of growth factor for the stimulation of angiogenesis in chronic wounds.

The development process is in progress.

Development of wound dressings made of electro spun herbal drug and allopathic drug incorporated in PCL nano membrane

Investigators: Dr. K. P. Chellamani and Mr. R. S. Vignesh Balaji

The use of electro spun nanofibrous mats has attracted a great deal of attention in biomedical applications such as tissue engineering, scaffolding, wound dressing, artificial blood vessels, drug delivery carriers, cosmetic and skin masks, etc. 

Recent advances in the field of nanotechnology, led several groups to recognize the promise of recruiting nanomaterials to the ongoing battle against pathogenic bacteria present in the wound.

PCL nano membrane containing antibiotics as well as traditional herbs like Tecomella undulate, Glycyrrhiza glabram, Aaparagus recemosus & Linum Usitatissimum were produced and using these nano membranes, wound dressings were developed. 

The quality evaluation of these wound dressings is in progress.


Hospital Bed linens with Enhanced Thermal Properties

Investigators: Dr. K. P. Chellamani and Mr. D. Veerasubramanian

The aim of this project is to design hospital bed linen with improved comfort properties for immobile patients; who have neither voluntary in involuntary movements. Body comfort depends on the distribution of the pressure (body weight) at the points of contact of the body with the bedding / bed linen, and also other important properties like thermal conductivity, moisture transmission, fabric hand properties etc.

Development of bed linens with improved thermal properties is in progress.