In a bid to increase the life of medical oxygen cylinders three-fold, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar has developed a first-of-its-kind oxygen rationing device, Amilex that supplies a required volume of oxygen to the patient during inhalation and trips when the patient exhales carbon dioxide. This process saves oxygen which otherwise unnecessarily gets wasted.
Until now, during exhalation, the oxygen in the oxygen cylinder or pipe is pushed out along with the exhaled CO2 by the user. This leads to wastage of a large volume of oxygen in long run. In addition, a large volume of oxygen escapes from the openings of the mask to the environment in the resting period (between inhalation and exhalation) due to the continuous flow of life-saving gas in the mask. As the demand for medical oxygen has jumped manifold amid the second wave of the Covid-19, the device would help in stopping the unwanted wastage of the same. “The device can operate on both portable power supply (battery) as well as line supply (220 V-50 Hz)”, said Director, IIT, Ropar, Prof Rajeev Ahuja.
Amilex has been developed by PhD students of the Biomedical Engineering Department of the institution Mohit Kumar, Ravinder Kumar and Amanpreet Chander under the guidance of Dr Ashish Sahani, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering. “Made specifically for oxygen cylinders, Amilex can be easily connected between the oxygen supply line and the mask worn by the patient. It uses a sensor which senses and successfully detects inhalation and exhalation of the user in any environmental condition,” said Dr Sahani. This ready-to-use device works with any commercially available oxygen therapy masks having multiple openings for airflow.
Prof Ahuja also said that the country now needs rapid but safe solutions to combat the Covid-19. Since the virus is affecting the lungs and subsequently breathing system of the patient, the institution has not intended to go in for patenting of the device. “Rather the IIT would be happy to transfer this technology free of cost, in the interest of the nation, to those interested to go in for mass production of the device,” he added.