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IIT Ropar develops AMLEX -- a breakthrough oxygen device for Covid-19 patients

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The Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar has created a device which helps in regulating the oxygen supply and thus saving the precious gas (Pic: Courtesy PIB)

With scarcity of life-saving oxygen playing a vital role in the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, any device to rationalise its use is welcome. Doing that precisely is the Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar developed, a first-of-its-kind Oxygen Rationing Device – AMLEX.

This device supplies the required volume of oxygen to the patient during inhalation and then trips when the patient exhales carbon dioxide. This results in increasing the life of the medical oxygen cylinders three fold.

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Till now, the vital gas, oxygen in the cylinder/pipe was pushed out along with the exhaled carbon dioxide, leading to wastage of a large quantity of the gas in the long run.

Also a large volume of oxygen escaped from the openings of the mask to the environment in the resting period -- the time between inhalation and exhalation -- due to continuous flow of life saving gas in the mask. During the second wave of Coronavirus pandemic, these factors created a quantum jump in demand for oxygen.

Talking about the device, IIT Ropar’s Director, Prof. Rajeev Ahuja said: “The device can operate on both portable power supply (battery) as well as line supply (220V-50Hz).”

What is noteworthy about this equipment is that it was developed by PhD students of Biomedical Engineering Department of IIT. They are Mohit Kumar, Ravinder Kumar and Amanpreet Chander, who worked under the guidance of Dr. Ashish Sahani, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Highlighting the special features of the device, Dr. Sahani observed: “Made specifically for oxygen cylinders, AMLEX 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.”

Making it compatible with all masks, this ready to use device works with any commercially available oxygen therapy masks having multiple openings for air flow.

Praising the device, Dr. G.S. Wander, Director, Research and Development at Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, said that in the present pandemic times everyone has learnt the importance of effective and pertinent use of life saving oxygen. He added that even though many hospitals have increased oxygen production capacity, this device can play a vital role in use of oxygen in small rural and semi urban health centres.

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Prof. Ahuja mentioned that India now needed rapid but safe solutions to combat Covid-19. As the virus affects the lungs and subsequently the breathing system of the person, IIT Ropar intends not to go in for patenting of the device. He said 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.