Anna University to set up indigenous unit to make automated medical devices

Anna University will soon be establishing a home grown unit to make automated medical devices at its campus under the University for Potential for Excellence (UPE) scheme, according to a TOI report. Vice-chancellor M K Surappa told the daily that the University Grants Commission (UGC) advisory committee, which recently inspected the progress made in utilising the grant, released under the scheme, had given its nod for the second phase of funding, noted the report.

Only University

The Anna University has already spent nearly Rs 23 crore towards this and is expecting another Rs.50 crore from the UGC in subsequent phases. “Of the17 universities selected for funding, only Anna University was shortlisted and has come up with a model which others can follow,” Surappa told the daily.

Manufacture of actibiogramoscopes

The unit, which is to come up at the Guindy and Chromepet campuses in Chennai, will be involved in limited manufacture of bactibiogramoscopes – medical devices designed by Anna University researchers from multiple streams including medical electronics, mechanical and production technology. They are capable of identifying the type of bacteria causing illnesses like urinary tract infections and diarrhoea and suggesting the right antibiotic to be prescribed within eight hours, the report said.

Rampant use of antibiotics

Stating that the conventional laboratory methods take 48 hours to produce results, until which doctors usually prescribe commonly used antibiotics to control the infection, the Prof S Muttan goes on to add that there is no guarantee that this is the right drug and rampant use of antibiotics without rationale has resulted in the spread of Multi-Drug-Resistant (MDR) strains.

“Infections due to MDR are the cause for increasing cases of nosocomial (hospitalacquired) infections. Our device would eliminate these shortcomings,” he pointed out. The cost of a test would also come down from Rs.600-1,000 to Rs.100 once the device is out in the market. Semi-automated versions of the device are currently being validated by a NABL-accredited microbiological lab in Coimbatore and an automated version will be developed soon, the researchers told the daily.

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