IIT researchers develop new device to help preserve oxygen

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Oxygen wastage was one of the biggest concerns when the second Covid-19 wave in the country was ravaging both urban and rural Indian landscapes. In order to come up with a solution researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar has developed a device that can regulate the flow of medical oxygen from the cylinder during inhalation and exhalation by a patient. This new equipment is expected to reducing the wastage of the life-saving gas.

A statement, cited by PTI, from the institute explains that the new device takes the patient’s breathing patterns into account to provide oxygen while inhalation. The statement said, “The device supplies a required volume of oxygen to a patient during inhalation and trips when the patient exhales, thereby saving the flow of oxygen at that time.”

The system called AMLEX will allow synchronized flow of oxygen with inhalation and exhalation of a patient. According to Dr Ashish Sahani, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, IIT Ropar, this system conserves a large amount of oxygen in the reservoir.

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“As we have seen the demand of medical oxygen has jumped manifold during the second wave of COVID-19, the device would help in stopping the unwanted wastage,” said the statement.

The device can operate on both portable power supply (battery) as well as line supply (220V-50Hz), said IIT Ropar Director Rajeev Ahuja.

The device will be placed in between the oxygen line and the mask worn by the patient. The mask uses a sensor to detect inhalation and exhalation of the user in any environmental condition, said Sahani.

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So far, during exhalation, oxygen in the cylinder/pipe is pushed out along with the exhaled carbon dioxide. “This leads to wastage of a large volume of oxygen in long run. In addition to this, 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 continuous flow of life-saving gas in the mask,” according to the statement.

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